Percutaneous of transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) is a minimally invasive procedure that opens blocked coronary arteries to improve blood flow to the heart. Angioplasty and the placement of a drug-eluting or bare-metal stent is a type of coronary intervention that takes place inside the arteries on top of the heart.
Balloon angioplasty is performed by inserting a catheter with a tiny balloon into the blocked artery. When in position, the balloon is inflated to widen the opening in the artery. A cardiac stent is often placed during or immediately after angioplasty to help keep the coronary artery open. Over time, a drug-eluting stent releases medicine that prevents the buildup of plaque inside the stent.
Angioplasty recovery is generally about two weeks, depending on your condition. Patients must follow their medication schedule in order to prevent a reoccurring heart problem.
Angioplasty and stenting may be helpful for people with severely blocked arteries or chronic total occlusions. Your doctor may recommend angioplasty as a treatment option if:
During this nonsurgical procedure, your physician:
When traditional angioplasty can’t remove calcified plaques, your physician may recommend atherectomy. The AHN Cardiovascular Research Institute helped develop this catheter-based technology.
During this procedure, your physician uses a laser or small, rotating, drill-like device to shave off plaque deposits from inside the blocked artery. In select cases, when lesions are not responsive to traditional therapies, lithotripsy technology may be utilized. In advanced refractory lesions, brachytherapy (localized radiation from inside the artery) may be an option. At AHN, patients have access to every catheter-based therapy to treat coronary artery disease. Please note, brachytherapy is only available at Allegheny General Hospital.