Coronary angioplasty

The tecnique is like a cardiac catheterization . A sausage shaped balloon, mounted on the end of the catheter is drived into a narrowed coronary. Then is inflated to stretch the vessel and compress the material blocking it.  At the moment only about one-third of the patients having a catheter test for angina are suitable for angioplasty because sometimes the blockages are too numerous, too tight or too long for our current technology to cope with. The technique can also be used in patients with previous bypass graft surgery in whom the graft has become narrowed. Unfortunately the narrowing of the treated coronary artery recurs in about one-third of the angioplasty. New devices are being evaluated (rotablator, laser, genetic  carriers) and further developments are expected in a few years.

 Coronary by-pass

Shunting of blood from the aorta to branches of the coronary arteries, to increase the flow beyond the local obstruction. The graft can be a vein (safena) or an artery (mammaria or epiploica).


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