Coronary angioplasty and stents

Coronary angioplasty is an interventional procedure that helps in unblocking clogged arteries of the heart. Coronary angioplasty is also known as Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI). The procedure involves temporary insertion of a catheter into the clogged artery. Once the catheter is positioned, the balloon tip is inflated against the artery wall that helps in widening up the artery to boost blood flow.

Individuals with weak arteries are cured with angioplasty combined with the permanent placement of a tiny mesh tube called a stent. The coronary stent prevents the feeble arteries of the heart from narrowing down or being blocked again in the future. There are Drug-Eluting-Stents and Bare-metal-Stents available that help in unblocking arteries.

The primary purpose served by the Angioplasty procedure is to broaden up blocked arteries, provide relief from chest pain, and discomfort while breathing. Surgeons may also perform angioplasty when an individual suffers from a heart attack. The procedure helps in widening the arteries and reduces the damage taken by the heart.

Cardiology has several subspecialties

  • Nuclear Cardiology

    using nuclear imaging techniques in the non-invasive study of cardiovascular disorders and diseases, including infarction imaging, SPECT (single-photon-emission computed tomography), planar imaging, and myocardial perfusion imaging. The nuclear cardiologist uses radioactive materials.

  • Interventional Cardiology

    involves the use of intravascular catheter-based techniques with fluoroscopy to treat congenital cardiac, valvular and coronary artery diseases.Interventional cardiologists may perform angioplasties, valvuloplasties, congenital heart defect corrections, and coronary thrombectomies.

  • Echocardiography

    the use of ultrasound waves to create images of the heart chambers, valves and surrounding structures. Echocardiography can measure how well the heart is pumping blood (cardiac output), as well as determining levels of inflammation around the heart (pericarditis). Echocardiography can also be used to identify structural abnormalities or infections of the heart valves.

  • Cardiac electrophysiology

    the study of the mechanism, spread, and interpretation of the electric currents which occur inside heart muscle tissue – the system that generates the heart beat.During an electrophysiology study (EPS) of the heart, catheters are threaded into a vein at the top of the leg; guided under fluoroscopy, the catheter makes its way to the heart. The catheters measure the electrical signals within the heart. EPS of the heart may be performed to determine whether the patient needs a pacemaker, why somebody is fainting if other tests have found no cause, and to help decide the best treatment for patients with arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm). EPS may also determine how prone a patient is to tachycardia (accelerated heart beat).