Aiken Physicians Alliance offers a range of procedures to treat blocked arteries in the heart, neck and legs. Blocked artery treatment typically includes angioplasty and stenting. Your physician may recommend one or both of these options based on your condition.
A coronary angioplasty restores blood flow through coronary arteries that are narrowed or blocked. These blockages are often caused by the buildup of plaque from coronary artery disease. Untreated, buildup in the coronary arteries can be very dangerous, as they supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart. These procedures expand the narrowed or blocked part of the artery to restore blood flow to the heart.
Artery blockage treatment can also be performed during or directly after a heart attack as life-saving treatment.
How is an angioplasty done?
During the procedure, the doctor threads a thin tube called a catheter through a blood vessel to the blocked artery. The doctor then inflates a small balloon at the end of the tube to push the plaque outwards. This widens the artery and helps restore blood flow.
The procedure can improve chest pain caused by reduced blood flow. It can also minimize damage to the heart muscle in the event of a heart attack.
A peripheral angioplasty is the same procedure as a carotid angioplasty, except it is performed on the arteries in the legs. A peripheral angioplasty can help relieve pain and may aid in wound healing.
A stent is a tiny tube placed in an artery designed to keep an artery open. The process of inserting a stent is called stenting and is typically performed during or after an angioplasty. Stenting is very common and minimally invasive.
Stents can be made from mesh, fabric, silicone or a combination of materials.
Coronary artery stents are made of metal mesh. They are small and self-expanding and prevent the artery from re-closing and reduce the risk for a heart attack. Stent grafts are made of fabric and are used for larger arteries.