by Pierre S Aoukar, MD and Hratch L Karamanoukian, MD
Posted: February 16
Procedure during which a catheter is inserted through the femoral or radial artery, guided to the coronary arteries to the site of a blockage and a balloon inflated to open the blockage. Most angioplasties done today also insert a stent—a cylindrical piece of mesh wire—that stays in the artery after the balloon is inflated. Stents have been shown to have better outcomes than balloon angioplasties alone. However, much research is now being done on drug-coated stents with excellent preliminary results. Drug-eluting stents are coated with a drug, such as rapamycin, which theoretically should keep the artery open for a longer period of time. Though the less invasive techniques of catheter-based medicine are definitively the future of cardiology, disease prevention will always prove to be better than treatment, so hold off on the sausage and eggs.
Angioplasty, Introduction to Heart Disease, Excerpt from the book: Everything Good For The Heart: The A to Z Guide, Aoukar PS and Karamanoukian HL. Magalhaes Scientific Press
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