Plaque buildup limits the amount of blood running through your vessels, which in turn slows blood flow to and from your heart. Such cases often require bypass surgery. However, an experienced heart surgeon may also perform angioplasty, a less invasive procedure. At Brookhaven Heart, we offer a few types of angioplasty procedures, all designed to help your condition!
Following an obstruction of plaque buildup in an artery, angioplasty helps dilate the affected artery to better restore blood flow. With laser angioplasty, a thin, flexible catheter is inserted directly into the coronary artery. The catheter then guides the laser on its tip to the blockage. From there, the laser emits a pulsating beam to vaporize the plaque and open the artery once more.
On occasion, laser angioplasty is combined with balloon angioplasty for better results.
Speaking of balloon angioplasty – our procedure addresses clogged arteries using a balloon attached to a catheter. The difference between using a balloon and using a laser is that the balloon is maneuvered to the affected artery, and then inflated to dilate that artery and compact the plaque. Then, your doctor will insert a stent to permanently dilate the artery, and prevent plaque from building up again.
On occasion we use angioplasty stenting, combined with balloon angioplasty, to treat the affected artery. A stent is a small, flexible tube that acts like a scaffold to better support the coronary artery from within. Once the small device is in place, the balloon is expanded, allowing the stent to hold open the artery. The artery then heals around the stent, ensuring smooth blood flow for the foreseeable future.