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.
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