The coronary angioplasty is a surgical procedure that enlarges the coronary artery when it is blocked or narrowed by an atheromatous plaque. This procedure is performed either by dilatation with the help of a balloon, or by placing a stent.
The coronary angioplasty is a minimally invasive (non-surgical) intervention and it’s usually used to treat angina, the chest pain that accompanies heart disease. In emergency cases it can be used to treat acute myocardial infarction.
The percutaneous coronary angioplasty has big advantages over the surgical treatment, because it has a lower risk, it’s less expensive and it doesn’t require a convalescence period - the patient can return to his/her job in the following days. The technique is equally effective in both men and women and at any age, even for patients over 80 years old.
After identifying the lesion (stenosis) that is responsible for the patient's symptoms, a special catheter equipped with a balloon is introduced and positioned within the stenosis area. Subsequently, the balloon is inflated in order to expand the stenosis area. The result is a significant revascularization of the affected artery.
Read about a patient's experience who had a coronary angiography at Istituto Auxologico Italiano, in Italy.
I have been an endurance athlete most of my life, and at age 60, it became even more important to me to live a healthy lifestyle.