Coronary Artery Angioplasty/Stent

A coronary artery angioplasty is necessary to treat coronary artery disease (CAD), the buildup of plaque or cholesterol in the arteries of the heart. Because buildup reduces blood flow, a heart attack can occur if this condition is left untreated.

At Capital Cardiovascular Specialists, Dr. Shawn Howell routinely performs coronary artery angioplasty. Through the catheter, a balloon is inserted into the area where the blockage occurs and is temporarily inflated. This process pushes plaque against the arterial wall and opens the artery, allowing blood to flow easily through it again. Once the artery is opened, the balloon is deflated and removed.

Intracoronary stenting, the permanent insertion of a stent to keep arteries open, is often performed with a balloon angioplasty. The procedure is performed in a catheterization (cath) lab, and cardiac catheters are used to insert the small wire stent, which is used to reduce the likelihood of the artery narrowing again.

Preparing for a Coronary Artery Angioplasty

Before your procedure, you should let Dr. Howell know if you have any allergies to X-ray dye or shellfish. Patients who are allergic to either will be given medications prior to the procedure to prevent a reaction to the dye used during the procedure. You should not eat for 8 to 12 hours before your scheduled appointment.

If you suffer from chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, or other symptoms of blocked arteries, it’s time to take a step toward healthier living. Call (202) 466-3000 today or request an appointment online with board-certified interventional cardiologist Dr. Howell at one of our convenient metro DC locations.

American College Cardiology American Heart Association American Society of Nuclear Cardiology American Board of Internal Medicine