Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston
Cardiologists located in Houston, TX & Cypress, TX
If you have symptoms of coronary artery disease (CAD) or peripheral arterial disease (PAD), you might benefit from angioplasty to open narrowed arteries. The cardiologists at Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston have considerable expertise in carrying out minimally invasive cardiac catheterization procedures, including angioplasty. They provide these services at their locations in Houston and North Cypress, Texas. Call today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
Angioplasty Q & A
What is coronary angioplasty?
Angioplasty is a procedure that can treat chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue, and help prevent heart attack.
It involves opening blocked arteries to restore normal blood flow into your heart. Blocked or narrowed arteries are a leading cause of heart disease and heart attacks, developing when plaque builds-up and coats the inside of the blood vessels.
Plaque is a sticky substance made of cholesterol, calcium, and other debris circulating in your blood that collects together. Plaque build-up happens slowly, causing few noticeable symptoms until you develop more severe narrowing.
The reduced blood flow to your heart can become a crisis if a blood clot forms or a piece of plaque breaks away and blocks an artery, leading to a heart attack. Using angioplasty techniques, the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston widens the affected blood vessels without using invasive surgical procedures.
How is angioplasty performed?
To perform coronary angioplasty, your cardiologist anesthetizes an area of skin on your arm or groin and inserts a tube called a catheter into your artery. They thread the catheter through your arterial system until it reaches an artery in your heart.
Using moving X-ray images (fluoroscopy), they feed the catheter into your artery, then pass a wire into the catheter. The wire has a special balloon over the end. When the balloon reaches the blockage in your artery, your provider inflates it.
The inflated balloon squeezes the plaque against the walls of your artery, flattening it, and making room for better blood flow. In many cases, your cardiologist also inserts a metal mesh tube called a stent into the artery. The stent stays in the artery to hold it open.
What is peripheral angioplasty?
Peripheral angioplasty is a treatment for peripheral artery disease (PAD) and is an almost identical procedure to coronary angioplasty. The difference is that your provider at Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston uses peripheral angioplasty to open blocked arteries in your legs, arms, or kidneys rather than your heart.
With peripheral angioplasty, your provider might insert the catheter into an artery in the:
- Knee (behind)
- Lower leg
Peripheral angioplasty can relieve common PAD symptoms such as hip, thigh, or calf pain. It also helps leg ulcer wounds to heal, which can reduce the risk of amputation.
Coronary and peripheral angioplasty cause minimal pain. You don't need a general anesthetic, just a sedative to keep you relaxed. There may be some soreness and bruising at the place your provider inserts the catheter.
To find out more about angioplasty and how it could help you, call Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston today or book an appointment online.