Elective and emergency treatments for blocked coronary arteries
If you have a severe blockage in one or more arteries, you may benefit from an angioplasty, also known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or revascularization.
An angioplasty can:
Improve blood flow to your heart
Relieve chest pain
May be able to prevent a heart attack
An angioplasty opens blocked or narrowed coronary arteries. During
angioplasty, a thin tube with a balloon on the end is threaded through a
blood vessel to the narrowed or blocked coronary artery. Once in place, the
balloon is inflated to push the plaque that is blocking your artery against
the artery wall. This widens the artery and restores the flow of blood.
A thin wire mesh tube called a stent may be placed in the artery
permanently to keep the artery open. Some stents are coated with medication
to help keep the artery open.
An angioplasty is done in the hospital and can take from 30 minutes to
three hours. It is done under local anesthesia to numb the area of the
groin where the catheter is inserted. Afterwards, you must remain in bed
for at least another six hours. You may be able to go home the same day,
but more often you will need to spend the night in the hospital.
The CVI's Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory offers elective angioplasty,
such as stenting, as well as round-the-clock availability of primary
percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), a common procedure
to reopen clogged or damaged coronary arteries.
Our physicians routinely perform PTCAs within 90 minutes or less, from
notification of a heart attack to open artery. Time to treatment is the
most important factor in ensuring bester results after heart attach. Our
results are among the best in the country for achievement of that goal. In
conjunction with the MedFlight medical helicopter service and ground
transport, similar times are achieved for patients from community hospitals
in Boston and within the Route 495 loop.