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An angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure to open a narrow or blocked artery. In some cases, angioplasty is performed as an emergency treatment for a heart attack, caused by an artery blockage. Other names for this procedure include balloon angioplasty, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
If you or a loved one is interested in learning more about treating heart disease with an angioplasty in Arizona, speak with an experienced cardiologist at Dignity Health. To receive the care you need, Find a Doctor today.
Heart doctors at Dignity Health may use angioplasty to treat damaged coronary arteries that are narrowed or blocked from a buildup of fatty plaque along the artery wall. An angioplasty restores normal blood flow, allowing oxygen-rich blood to move through the coronary artery.
Your doctor may recommend angioplasty to treat:
Standards of care recommend patients experiencing chest pain or a possible heart attack have some form of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) within 90 minutes of arriving at the hospital. PCI includes stenting to keep an artery open after angioplasty.
Dignity Health’s Chandler Regional Medical Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center are Accredited Chest Pain Centers designated by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. This recognition is given to hospitals that have achieved a high level of expertise in treating patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack.
If you decide to have an angioplasty at Dignity Health, your procedure will be performed by a cardiac surgeon or cardiologist in one of our cardiac catheterization labs. You will be given a sedative, so you will be awake but very relaxed during the procedure. An angioplasty may take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours.
During the procedure, your doctor will insert a catheter into an artery, usually in the groin, and feed it toward the blocked coronary artery. Once in place, a small balloon will clear the plaque away, or a laser will dissolve it altogether. Both of these techniques widen the coronary artery.
Once the procedure is complete, you will need to lie still for several hours. You may need to stay overnight in the hospital’s cardiac care unit.
Once you are back home, you will need to rest and take it easy for a few days. In most cases, you should be able to go back to work in a week. Depending on your age and overall health, your doctor may recommend cardiac rehabilitation to aid your recovery process. Your doctor will also give you specific instructions on when it will be safe to resume exercise and other strenuous activities.