Angioplasty News

Angioplasty is a medical procedure used to open an artery that is narrow or blocked. Over time, plaque can build up in the arteries, causing a condition known as atherosclerosis. Complications of atherosclerosis can include chest pain, heart attack and other heart problems. An angioplasty is done to open an artery blocked by plaque and restore blood flow to the heart.

How Angioplasty Works

Angioplasty is performed with a catheter, which is a thin tube that is inserted into the artery. This means that angioplasty can be performed without open surgery, which reduces the risk for complications. Typically, the catheter is directed to the location of the blockage, and then a balloon on the catheter is inflated. This opens the artery and restores blood flow.

Most angioplasties also include the insertion of a stent, a small mesh tube that is left permanently in the artery in order to keep it open. During the angioplasty, the stent is usually placed around the balloon. That way, it gets opened up and attached to the artery wall during the angioplasty. This helps keep the artery open. Some stents are coated with a medication that helps prevent scarring from the angioplasty, which can further help keep the artery open over time.

Angioplasty Complications and Concerns

Angioplasty is generally regarded as a safe procedure, and serious complications rarely occur. Still, there are some risks involved, such as internal bleeding, blood vessel damage and even heart attack or stroke. Some people have a greater risk for these complications than others, so it’s best to discuss any concerns with a doctor. There is also typically a recovery period after angioplasty, though it is frequently less extensive than it would be for an open heart surgery.

SOURCES: U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Date Posted
Article Title
8/7/2017
Angioplasty Outcomes Almost Equal Among Hospitals

'Safety-net' facilities do as well as other hospitals with the artery procedure, researchers find

5/12/2017
Blood Vessel-Clearing Procedure Riskier on Weekends: Study

Though low overall, the odds of dying are doubled if angioplasty is done on Saturday or Sunday

3/29/2017
When Heart Stops Beating, Survival Better at Specialized Heart Centers

With cardiac arrest, they're more likely to perform procedures to clear blood vessels, study finds

8/31/2016
Drug-Coated Stents Don't Improve Patient Survival, Large Study Reports

But, the pricier devices do lead to fewer repeat heart procedures

8/16/2016
Do Angioplasty Patients Really Need Beta-Blocker Drugs?

Study suggests doctors reconsider their use in the absence of heart attack, heart failure

6/15/2016
Sleep Apnea Tied to Complications After Angioplasty

Nightly breathing troubles may increase risk of heart attack, stroke following the coronary procedure

5/17/2016
Sleep Apnea May Raise Risks for Angioplasty Patients

Research suggests that breathing disorder could exacerbate heart disease

5/5/2016
Restoring Blood Flow Beats Exercise for Poor Leg Circulation

Opening vessels could prevent new scarring in muscles, researchers say

2/23/2016
Younger Female Heart Patients More Likely to Need Follow-Up Care

And, that's despite having healthier blood vessels, study says

12/28/2015
Heart Attack Treatment Often Delayed for Former Bypass Patients

Finding blockages can be trickier when blood vessels have been rerouted, expert says

11/13/2015
Arm Artery Access Safer for Angioplasty, Review Finds

When compared to using the groin artery, there were fewer bleeding events, death rates

11/11/2015
Angioplasty May Not Boost Survival for Some Heart Disease Patients

Most people should try medication plus lifestyle changes first, experts say

7/13/2015
1 in 6 Americans Too Far From Lifesaving Heart Centers

Problem affects more rural, poor and Hispanic people, study finds

5/12/2015
Quitting Smoking Improves Angioplasty Outcome, Study Finds

Patients report less chest pain, better quality of life after heart procedure

3/24/2015
New Blood Pump System Approved

Maintains circulation during riskier cardiac surgery

3/16/2015
Smokers Fare Worse After Heart Procedures, Study Finds

They had much higher risk of heart attack, stroke or death than nonsmokers or those who quit

3/16/2015
Manual Clot Removal After Heart Attack May Not Help, Could Harm

Researchers also report that procedure appears to increase the risk for stroke

7/29/2014
Heart Attack Patients Treated at Night, Weekends May Have Worse Outcomes

Timing of arrival at ER affects how quickly an angioplasty is done, research shows

7/16/2014
Is Obesity an Advantage After Heart Procedures?

Experts urge caution in interpreting study results

5/28/2014
Many Delay Blood Thinners After Stent Placement, Risking Death

Going 3 days without Plavix triples odds of heart attack within a month, researchers say

5/7/2014
Surgical Treatments Equally Effective for Women With Poor Leg Circulation

Minimally invasive procedures to open arteries work for both sexes, study finds

2/24/2014
Many Patients Have Pain After Heart Surgery, Study Finds

40 percent suffered pain three months later, and 10 percent did after two years

11/1/2013
For Some Women Facing Angioplasty, Wrist Entry May Be Better: Study

Likelihood of bleeding issues much lower than when procedure done through the groin, researchers say

10/15/2013
Bypass May Beat Angioplasty for Diabetics With Heart Disease

Study found higher quality of life after bypass than with less-invasive angioplasty

10/9/2013
Controversial Treatment May Not Help MS Patients

Study appears to refute theory of blocked neck veins as cause of multiple sclerosis

9/10/2013
ER Visits Common After Seniors' Surgery, Study Finds

At some hospitals 1 in 4 patients returns for emergency care following colon operation

9/4/2013
Heart Attack Death Rates Unchanged Despite Faster Treatment, Study Finds

In-hospital time to angioplasty improved by 16 minutes over four years

9/3/2013
Clearing More Arteries Works in Angioplasty Trial

U.K. heart study halted early after multiple artery clearings showed strong results

8/7/2013
Former President Bush Home After Heart Surgery

Stent procedure was successful after artery blockage found during his annual physical

8/6/2013
Former President George W. Bush Gets Heart Stent

Procedure successful after artery blockage found during his annual physical

6/10/2013
More Doctors Starting to Favor 'Wrist Route' to Heart: Study

Using groin pathway for artery-opening procedures is more dangerous, researchers say

3/12/2013
Major Bleeds After Heart Procedures May Raise Death Risk: Study

But strategies exist to modify this risk, researchers say

3/11/2013
Angioplasty Safe in Hospitals Without On-Site Heart Surgery Services

Outcomes for non-emergency coronary procedure were similar among hospitals in Massachusetts study

3/7/2013
Skipping Aspirin Before Artery Procedure May Boost Death Rates

Recommended pre-op therapy neglected in 7 percent of angioplasty patients, study finds

2/6/2013
Heart Attack Patients Do Better if They Had Chest Pain First

Study found this holds true even with latest cardiac procedures

12/18/2012
Giving Plavix Before Angioplasty May Cut Heart Attack Risk: Study

Review of the data does not show increase in overall survival, however

12/17/2012
New Guidelines Seek to Streamline Care for Worst Heart Attacks

Time is of the essence to avoid brain damage and save lives, experts say

10/18/2012
Nationwide Study Examines Common Heart Procedures

Patients undergoing angioplasty, stent placement more likely to be overweight, smoke, have high blood pressure

8/20/2012
Stroke Risk Higher After Bypass Than Angioplasty: Analysis

About 1 in 80 surgery patients, 1 in 300 angioplasty patients have stroke complication, new review shows

7/9/2012
Expensive, Drug-Emitting Stents May Be Overused: Study

More selective use of devices that keep arteries open could save U.S. $200 million a year

6/5/2012
Statewide Program Improved Heart-Attack Survival: Study

North Carolina patients were transferred more quickly to hospitals that perform lifesaving procedure

5/23/2012
Regional Systems to Treat Severe Heart Attack Increasing

These systems coordinate emergency medical services and hospitals to speed patient care

5/9/2012
Angioplasty May Be Risky for Those With Poor Leg Circulation

Procedure to open heart arteries linked to raised death rate in people with peripheral artery disease

3/29/2012
First Bedside Gene Test Shows Promise

Study found it spotted which heart patients should not take blood thinner Plavix

3/27/2012
Bypass Surgery May Be Better Than Angioplasty for Seniors

Study found those with multi-vessel heart disease showed reduced risk of dying four years later

3/26/2012
Clot-buster Drug Injection Might Help Some Heart Attack Patients

Study found that it saved more cardiac muscle than clot extraction technique

3/26/2012
Both Too Little and Too Much Sleep Bad for the Heart: Study

Research finds too little sleep may increase risk of stroke, heart attack; too much may cause coronary artery disease

12/13/2011
Angioplasty Safe at Hospitals Without On-Site Surgery: Review

In-hospital death, emergency bypass no more likely in non-specialty centers, researchers say

11/28/2011
Angioplasty Patients May Be at Risk for Rehospitalization

Studies found one in 10 readmitted in first 30 days, risk remains three years later

11/28/2011
Lengthy Hospital Transfers May Hamper Heart Attack Care

Recommended time is seldom met in switching patients to angioplasty or stent facility, study finds