Angioplasty is an effective treatment for heart attack. Angioplasty is a procedure that must be performed during cardiac catheterization.
During a cardiac catheterization, a catheter (thin plastic tube) is inserted into an artery in the groin, and then threaded up through the aorta to the heart. During angioplasty, the catheter is advanced into the narrowed part of the coronary artery. A balloon at the end of the catheter is inflated, in order to force open the narrowed artery. Alternative techniques include cutting or burning away the blockage with a tiny blade or laser.
After angioplasty, a stent may be used to help hold the artery open. Stents are tiny struts that expand against the inside wall of the artery. They prop open the blood vessel after it has been opened.
Rare complications of angioplasty include:
- Allergic reaction to the dye
- Heart attack
- Coronary artery rupture
- A small number of opened arteries become narrowed again. However, stents are used to protect against this complication.
Continue to MI Cardiac Rehab
- Arad Y, Goodman KJ, Roth M, Newstein D, Guerci AD. Coronary calcification, coronary disease risk factors, C-reactive protein, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease events: the St. Francis Heart Study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005 Jul 5;46(1):158-65. 
- Brown TL, Merrill J, Hill P, Bengel FM. Relationship of coronary calcium and myocardial perfusion in individuals with chest pain. Assessed by integrated rubidium-82 PET-CT. Nuklearmedizin. 2008;47(6):255-260. 
- Hansson GK. Inflammation, atherosclerosis, and coronary artery disease. N Engl J Med. 2005 Apr 21;352(16):1685-95. 
- Jaumdally R, Lip GY, Varma C. Percutaneous coronary interventions for coronary artery disease: the long and short of optimizing medical therapy. Int J Clin Pract. 2005 Sep;59(9):1070-81. 
- Lewandrowski K, Chen A, Januzzi J. Cardiac markers for myocardial infarction. A brief review. Am J Clin Pathol. 2002 Dec;118 Suppl:S93-9. 
- Perers E, Caidahl K, Herlitz J, Karlson BW, Karlsson T, Hartford M. Treatment and short-term outcome in women and men with acute coronary syndromes. Int J Cardiol. 2005 Aug 18;103(2):120-7. 
- Sheridan PJ, Crossman DC. Critical review of unstable angina and non-ST elevation myocardial infarction. Postgrad Med J. 2002 Dec;78(926):717-26. 
- Thuresson M, Jarlov MB, Lindahl B, Svensson L, Zedigh C, Herlitz J. Symptoms and type of symptom onset in acute coronary syndrome in relation to ST elevation, sex, age, and a history of diabetes. Am Heart J. 2005 Aug;150(2):234-42. 
- Yilmaz H, Basarici I. Troponin levels and acute coronary syndrome. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005 Aug 16;46(4):741.