What Is an Angioplasty?
By Dr. Virginia Y. Gonzalez
December 04, 2019
Category: Heart Conditions
Tags: Angioplasty  

Coronary artery disease is a serious condition that occurs when the arteries responsible for carrying blood to the heard become narrow Angioplastydue to the buildup of plaque and cholesterol inside the arteries. An angioplasty is a procedure for opening up narrowed or blocked coronary arteries to improve blood flow to the heart. At the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC, in West Monroe, LA, angioplasties are performed by our cardiologist, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez.

Purpose of Angioplasty

The coronary arteries are the arteries that carry blood to the heart. Unfortunately, plaque, cholesterol, and other substances can build up on the walls of the coronary arteries. This build up can lead to a narrowing of the coronary arteries and restrict blood flow to the heart. Reduced blood flow can result in the formation of blood clots, which can eventually lead to a heart attack. The purpose of an angioplasty is to clear plaque and cholesterol build up in the coronary arteries to improve blood flow to the heart.

Angioplasty Procedure

The procedure for performing an angioplasty involves the use of a catheter and an expandable balloon to open up the blocked coronary artery. The catheter, which is a small, thin tube, will be inserted into the arteries in either the arm or groin area. The area will be numbed prior to the insertion of the catheter. Once the catheter has been inserted into the arteries, our cardiologist will use an X-ray screen to guide the catheter to the blocked coronary artery. Once there, an expandable balloon on a thin wire will be threaded into the artery where the blockage exists.

With the balloon in place, it is then inflated. As the balloon inflates, it opens up and expands the artery by pushing away plaque and cholesterol build-up. The balloon might be inflated several times during the angioplasty to fully open up the artery so enough blood can flow to the heart. For some patients, a stent can be placed in the artery to keep it open. Following the angioplasty, the catheter and balloon are removed, but the stent remains in place. Patients typically stay overnight after undergoing an angioplasty through our cardiology practice in West Monroe, LA.

An angioplasty can improve your heart health and reduce the risk of heart attack by opening up narrowed or blocked coronary arteries. To find out if you could benefit from an angioplasty, schedule an appointment with Dr. Gonzalez by calling the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC, in West Monroe, LA, at (318) 338-3540. For your convenience, we also have a second location in Winnsboro, LA.