Stents and up-to-date intervention techniques
Angioplasty is based on a modern technique that consists in introducing a minute catheter through a puncture in the femoral artery or in the artery of the arm.
The catheter is manouvred by the physician through the arterial system until it reaches the site of the blockage or constriction in the artery. A small balloon at the end of the catheter is then inflated to widen the restricted passage.
Another method used to reopen obstructed arteries is stent implantation.
Stents are special metallic mesh-like tubes which, with the aid of a “balloon”, are permanently and firmly placed in the arterial wall to keep it “open” for the flow of blood.
Drug-eluting stents to prevent restenosis (recurrence of vessel narrowing) are available stents. Since April 2011 are also available the Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS) stents
Other treatments require the use of various types of atherectomy to eliminate plaque from the clogged area, or of special wires or devices to create a passage through completely occluded arteries.
Angioplasty procedures are generally minimally invasive and psychologically well tolerated by most patients.
An anesthesiologist, present during the procedure, guarantees optimal sedation for each patient.
Diagnostic angiography usually takes half an hour. Angioplasty takes half an hour to two hours.
Patients are discharged the day following the procedure and they are able to return to their normal life shortly.