Elective Angioplasty

Is It Right for You?
Elective angioplasty is ideal for patients who come to their doctor or to the emergency room with many of the concerning symptoms of a heart attack—such as chest pains or shortness of breath—but are not having a heart attack yet. If testing shows signs of a blocked artery, elective angioplasty may be performed to open the blockage and restore normal flood flow.

How It Works
During elective angioplasty, physicians insert a thin, flexible tube, known as a catheter, at the patient’s groin or wrist and then thread it up through the artery to the heart. A small balloon at the end of the catheter is inflated to open up any blockages and compress built-up plaque in the artery. Once the channel for blood flow has been re-established, a tiny mesh tube, known as a stent, is implanted to keep the artery open long-term. The procedure is minimally invasive, requiring only local anesthesia and a small skin puncture at the catheter’s insertion site, and most patients return home the same or next day.