Coronary Intervention

Your cardiologist may recommend coronary angioplasty (PTCA) to improve blood flow if the cardiac catheterization reveals a blockage or restriction in the blood flow in a coronary artery.

  • P – percutaneous; means accessing the blood vessel through the skin
  • T – transluminal; means the procedure is performed within the blood vessel
  • C – coronary; identifies that the coronary artery is being treated
  • A – angioplasty; means "to remodel" the interior of the blood vessel with balloon inflation

Your cardiologist performs balloon angioplasty during cardiac catheterization by inserting a small tube with a balloon into the narrowed coronary artery and inflating the balloon to open the blockage in the coronary artery.

After balloon angioplasty, your cardiologist may decide to place a stent. Stent placement is performed to keep the artery open following balloon angioplasty. A stent is a scaffold placed over a delivery balloon catheter and positioned in the narrowed site of the artery. The stent is implanted in the artery wall by inflating the stent delivery balloon. The stent delivery balloon catheter is then removed and the stent remains to hold the artery open.

Other techniques include atherectomy and rotoblator. These procedures are always preceded by a diagnostic cardiac catheterization.