Coronory Angioplasty

A coronary angioplasty (stent) is a procedure used to widen blocked or narrowed coronary arteries.

Why is a coronary angioplasty necessary?

Like all organs in the body, the heart needs a constant supply of blood. This is supplied by two large blood vessels called the left and right coronary arteries. In older people, these arteries can become narrowed and hardened. This is known as atherosclerosis.

Hardening of the coronary arteries can restrict the flow of blood to the heart, which can lead to angina.

The most common symptom of angina is chest pain, which is usually triggered by physical activity. While many cases of angina can be treated with medication, a coronary angioplasty may be required to restore the blood supply to the heart in severe angina.

Coronary angioplasties are also often used as an emergency treatment after a heart attack.

What are the benefits of a coronary angioplasty?

If you have angina, an angioplasty can:

  • relieve your pain
  • reduce your need for angina medication
  • ease symptoms such as breathlessness
  • enable you to be more active
  • improve your ability to do everyday activities, such as climbing stairs and walking any distance
  • make you feel generally better so you're more able to do the things you want to do, such as going to work and enjoying a social life

If you've had a heart attack, an angioplasty can:

  • increase your chances of surviving by one-third more than clot-busting treatment (thrombolysis) can
  • reduce your chances of having another heart attack