Cardiac Catheterization Intervention

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Cardiac Catheterization Intervention: Balloon Angioplasty and Stent Placement

Affecting more than 15 million Americans, Coronary Artery Disease, or CAD, is the most frequently encountered heart disease. In many cases, this condition is the result of atherosclerosis. This term describes a condition where the arteries are slowly blocked by arterial plaque. This waxy substance slowly constricts the arterial pathways, making it difficult to maintain proper blood flow to the heart. As the condition worsens, chest pain, known as angina, may begin to appear, and the risk of heart attack increases. Dr. Gottam works with our patients in and around Detroit, MI, to help prevent, diagnose, and treat conditions like these.

Cardiac Catheterization Intervention And When It’s Needed

Metro Detroit Cardiovascular Associates provides treatment options for Coronary Artery Disease. The most common treatment for Cardiac Artery Disease is Cardiac Catheterization Intervention, with balloon angioplasty and stents being the most common approaches.

  • Balloon Angioplasty – Angioplasty describes a process by which narrowed arteries are opened using a catheter. In balloon angioplasty, the catheter, a thin tube, has a small balloon integrated into its tip. The catheter is passed into the artery until it reaches the point where plaque is interfering with normal blood flow. The balloon is expanded to press the plaque into a thin layer and clear the artery. Another name for balloon angioplasty is percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA).
  • Stent – Stents are used to help keep the target vessel open. They are generally composed out of a metal mesh. The support they provide helps to keep the vessel open, improving blood flow to the heart and reducing angina pain. Stents are commonly placed in 80% of all balloon angioplasty cases.

Balloon angioplasty is also utilized in opening blood vessels in any part of the body where they’ve become narrow. This includes cases where the blood vessels to the brain have narrowed. Angioplasty in the carotid arteries can reduce the risk of stroke. Other places that balloon angioplasty is commonly performed include the femoral artery, the iliac artery, and the artery behind your knee, known as the popliteal artery. Stents can also be used in various areas of the body where support for narrowed arteries is needed.

Preparing For Your Procedure

As with most surgical procedures, you’ll be instructed to consume neither food nor drink after midnight the day before the surgery. Those who have diabetes should inform Dr. Gottam during their consultation. This will allow accommodations to be made and your blood sugar levels to be maintained. You’ll also want to let them know of any medications you are currently taking. Before the day of the procedure, you will likely receive a chest x-ray, blood tests, and an electrocardiogram test.

The procedure will generally last between 1.5-2.5 hours. However, you should be prepared to spend your night at the hospital. During your stay, you’ll be watched by nurses throughout the night to ensure your blood pressure and heart rate are normal. You’ll learn more about the details of your procedure during the consultation prior to the scheduled surgery date.  

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