Coronary Angioplasty

Coronary angioplasty widens narrowed arteries.

Last modified: June 30, 2011

Ass't. Prof. Dr. Suat Altinmakas
Interventional Cardiologist

Memorial Healthcare Group
and Contributing Writer

Coronary Angioplasty

What is Coronary Angioplasty?

Cornonary angioplasty is a life saving emergency procedure for patients suffering an ongoing acute heart attack. Coronary angioplasty is one the most frequently performed procedures in the field of cardiology because of its role as both a preventive and life saving procedure.

Deposits of fatty substances, cholesterol, calcium and other things can build up in the inner lining of an artery in the form of plaque. As the plaque builds and gets bigger, it can prevent proper blood flow and as a result, tissue ischemia occurs. If this build-up of plaque happens in the coronary (heart) artery, it will lead to myocardial ischemia (a painful heart condition caused by lack of blood flow) and sometimes myocardial necrosis (the destruction of heart muscle cells). 

Coronary angioplasty is a procedure used to open blocked or narrowed coronary arteries caused by plaque build-up. The procedure improves blood flow to the heart muscle and relives symptoms of myocardial ischemia.  During the coronary angioplasty procedure, a small balloon is inflated in the blocked or narrowed artery region. Usually, coronary angioplasty is finished with an implantation of a stent, which is a mesh-like tube, often made of metal.



A Good Candidate for Coronary Angioplasty

Coronary angioplasty is a very common medical procedure. Patients with angina, shortness of breath, myocardial ischemia and patients who have significant coronary artery narrowing are good candidates for coronary angipoplasty.

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