Jefferson University Hospitals

Balloon Angioplasty with Stenting

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Angioplasty: A Treatment Option

At Jefferson, most patients with severe coronary artery disease can be treated without coronary artery bypass surgery. The interventional cardiology team works collaboratively with our cardiac surgeons and other healthcare professionals to provide each patient with effective treatment options, including balloon angioplasty.

What Does Angioplasty Involve?

Angioplasty is a nonsurgical procedure that is used to "open up" or dilate an obstructed artery that leads to the heart. It is performed in combination with an angiogram, which uses X-rays and a special dye to visualize blood vessels in the neck and brain.

Surgeons at Jefferson will perform balloon angioplasty with stenting to reduce complications and speed recovery time. The angioplasty is done by inserting a special tiny balloon through the catheter into the narrowed part of the carotid artery. The balloon is then slowly inflated. As the balloon inflates, it presses the plaque (fatty deposits) against the wall of the blood vessel and in so doing, it widens or opens up the artery.

At this point, the stent is inserted. A stent is a soft mesh-like piece of material that is placed into the narrowed part of the artery. The stent acts as a scaffold or bridge to keep the artery open. After the stent is inserted, the balloon is removed. The stent remains in the artery to keep it open.

This procedure takes about two hours to complete.

Leaders in the Development of Coronary Artery Stenting

Our interventional cardiologists were the leaders in the development of coronary artery stenting to treat coronary artery disease. They continue to develop new interventional techniques to improve patient outcomes in complex and difficult procedures.