Angioplasty is an interventional procedure to treat atherosclerosis, a condition that develops when fatty plaque builds up in the blood vessels of your heart.
While angioplasty isn’t appropriate for everyone, the cardiology team here at Chinatown Cardiology can determine if you’re a candidate during a comprehensive health evaluation.
At our four New York City locations, we offer a range of diagnostic services in-office so you can get an accurate diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan.
What to know about angioplasty
Angioplasty opens blocked arteries that carry blood away from your heart. The goal is to restore blood flow. Our cardiologists can treat one or multiple blockages during the same procedure.
During an angioplasty, we provide you with a sedative medication to keep you relaxed but awake. Your provider inserts a thin tube (catheter) with a small balloon attached into an artery in your groin, wrist, or arm and guides it toward your heart and the blockage.
We use fluoroscopy, a real-time X-ray technology, to monitor the catheter as it travels through your artery. Once in place, your cardiologist injects a contrast dye through the catheter to highlight areas of plaque buildup.
To widen your artery and improve blood flow, your provider inflates the attached balloon. They may also place a small mesh stent in the area to keep the vessel open and prevent additional blockages.
3 reasons you might be a candidate for angioplasty
Our team at Chinatown Cardiology often uses angioplasty as part of treatment plans for:
1. Hard-to-treat atherosclerosis
If you have blockages in your coronary arteries, you likely need to make diet and lifestyle changes and take medications to treat them.
However, if these strategies aren’t working well enough and your condition isn’t improving, we might recommend an angioplasty to prevent additional complications.
2. Chest pain
If you have worsening chest pain because of atherosclerosis, you might need an angioplasty. Our team may first recommend medications or other treatments to lessen your pain, but if your chest pain continues, it may be time to consider angioplasty and stenting.
3. Heart attack
After a heart attack, an angioplasty procedure can quickly remove plaque from your arteries to restore blood flow. Fast action is necessary because the longer blood flow to your heart is blocked, the more you risk heart muscle damage.
When angioplasty may not be an option
If you have an existing health condition like diabetes, a weak heart muscle, or severe artery blockages, you might not be a candidate for angioplasty.
Instead, we may recommend an alternative, such as a coronary artery bypass surgery, a procedure to bypass a blocked artery using a healthy vessel from another part of your body.
The new vessel allows blood to flow around the blockage to restore blood flow to your heart, lowering your risk for heart attack and other complications.
To learn more about the benefits of angioplasty, call Chinatown Cardiology at one of our convenient locations in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, or book an appointment online today.