Angioplasty Procedures at Garnet Health
As the region's first Diagnostic Cardiac Catheterization Lab, Garnet Health Medical Center provides the most advanced, accurate diagnostics for your heart and arteries and offers the latest technology, experienced cardiologists and expert support staff.
Angioplasty opens blocked arteries and restores normal blood flow to your heart muscle. It is not major surgery. It is done by threading a catheter (thin tube) through a small puncture in a leg or arm artery to the heart. The blocked artery is opened by inflating a tiny balloon in it.
Elective angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure where a catheter (flexible plastic tube) with a small balloon dilates, or “opens up”, a blocked artery that supplies your heart muscle with blood. The balloon compresses built-up plaque and creates a wider channel for blood to flow.
As the balloon inflates, a tiny mesh coil or tube, also known as a stent, is implanted in the blocked artery and acts as a scaffold to hold an artery open. In contrast to heart surgery, angioplasty can be done by making a small puncture in the skin and inserting the catheter into an artery in a leg or arm.
Elective angioplasty means that this procedure is not performed on an emergency basis, but is the result of extensive cardiac testing that requires further diagnosis to determine if an artery is blocked.
Emergency angioplasty is performed when a patient is presenting symptoms resembling a heart attack. A heart attack is the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing cells in the heart muscle to die. Heart attacks are commonly due to a blockage of a coronary artery.
To avoid further damage to the heart during a heart attack, the blocked artery needs to be opened immediately through a procedure known as emergency angioplasty. This procedure is performed by an interventional angioplasty team who are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
An emergency angioplasty is exactly the same as an elective angioplasty with only one difference: it is performed under emergent need during a heart attack. In contrast to emergency heart surgery, emergency angioplasty can be done by inserting a catheter into a small puncture of the skin that usually requires a local anesthetic.