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What Is an Angioplasty?
Angiplasty is a procedure we use to restore blood flow through your arteries. Certain conditions can cause the blood flow to slow, making it difficult for your body to receive necessary oxygen and nutrients. Angioplasty opens up the blocked artery so blood can flow smoothly.
Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA)
Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) is performed to open blocked coronary arteries caused by coronary artery disease (CAD) and to restore arterial blood flow to the heart tissue without open-heart surgery.
How PTCA works
A special catheter (long hollow tube) is inserted into the coronary artery to be treated. This catheter has a tiny balloon at its tip. The balloon is inflated once the catheter has been placed into the narrowed area of the coronary artery.
The inflation of the balloon compresses the fatty tissue in the artery and makes a larger opening inside the artery for improved blood flow.
The use of fluoroscopy (a special type of X-ray, similar to an X-ray movie) assists the physician in the location of blockages in the coronary arteries as the contrast dye moves through the arteries. A small sample of heart tissue (called a biopsy) may be obtained during the procedure to be examined later under the microscope for abnormalities.
Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS)
A technique called intravascular ultrasound uses a computer and a transducer that sends out ultrasonic sound waves to create images of the blood vessels, may be used during PTCA.
The use of IVUS provides direct visualization and measurement of the inside of the blood vessels and may assist the physician in selecting the appropriate size of balloons and/or stents, to ensure that a stent, if used, is properly opened, or to evaluate the use of other angioplasty instruments.
The doctor may determine that another type of procedure is necessary. This may include the use of atherectomy (removal of plaque) at the site of the narrowing of the artery. In atherectomy, there may be tiny blades on a balloon or a rotating tip at the end of the catheter.
Our vascular surgeons provide minimally invasive angioplasty without the need for invasive surgery.
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