Balloon Angioplasty and Stenting

Balloon Angioplasty and Stenting



Stents which have been applied treating coronary artery disease (CAD) for more than a decade. Usually a stent is inserted to hold a coronary artery open and to maintain blood flow after an angioplasty.

Stenting, a minimally invasive procedure, is using a stent and a balloon in combination to push back plaque deposits inside the coronary artery to treat heart disease.

A coronary stent, a tiny, expandable mesh tube, is made of medical-grade stainless steel or cobalt alloy metal. Stents can support the reduction of recurrent blockage or narrowing after an angioplasty procedure. The stent will remain in your artery permanently after implanted.


The Stent Procedure
Similar to any angioplasty procedure, the stent is mounted onto a tiny balloon which is opened inside the coronary artery pushing back plaque and restoring blood flow. After the plaque is pushed back to the arterial wall, the stent is fully expanded into position, acting as miniature “scaffolding” for the artery. The balloon is then deflated and removed, and the stent is left behind in the patient’s coronary artery keeping the blood vessel open. Depending on the length of the blockageFor for some patients it may be necessary to place more than one stent in the coronary artery.

Stent procedures have an advantage over angioplasty alone, because stents provide permanent structural support helping prevent the coronary artery from restenosis (renarrowing), although restenosis may still occur.


Drug-Eluting Stents
Additional to providing structural support to the coronary artery, stents of newer-generation also have a medicated coating helping prevent the vessel from restenosis. Both bare metal and drug-eluting stents can effectively reopen coronary arteries.

Although stents have been proven to be safe and effective, their use may, on rare occasions, result in stent thrombosis. Stent thrombosis, a blood clot, occurs after stent implantation. Some patients with stents, blood cells can become sticky and clump together to form a small mass – or clot. When a blood clot forms, it can block the free flow of blood through an artery and may cause a heart attack or even death. Stent thrombosis can occur in patients with both bare-metal and drug-eluting stents. Scientists are now investigating whether there is an increased risk of stent thromboses with certain drug-eluting stents.

The most important thing you can do is follow your cardiologist’s recommendation for taking anticlotting medication, also known as dual antiplatelet therapy (aspirin with clopidogrel or ticlopidine). It is of paramount importance not to stop medication unless you are told by your cardiologist.


Angioplasty, also known as balloon angioplasty and percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA), is a minimally invasive, endovascular procedure to widen narrowed or obstructed arteries or veins, typically to treat arterial atherosclerosis. A deflated balloon attached to a catheter (a balloon catheter) is passed over a guide-wire into the narrowed vessel and then inflated to a fixed size. The balloon forces expansion of the blood vessel and the surrounding muscular wall, allowing an improved blood flow. A stent may be inserted at the time of ballooning to ensure the vessel remains open, and the balloon is then deflated and withdrawn. Angioplasty has come to include all manner of vascular interventions that are typically performed percutaneously.
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Coronary angiogram Live demonstration


Coronary angiogram – live demonstration


What is a stent, and how does it work?


Angioplasty – Medical animation


Drug-Eluting Stent Procedural Animation