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Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA)
Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA) is conducted to open clogged or obstructed coronary arteries due to Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) in order to re-establish arterial blood flow to the heart muscle without open-heart surgery.
The catheter has a small balloon at its tip. The balloon is filled with air as soon as the catheter is positioned into the narrow area of the coronary artery. Once the balloon has inflated, it compresses the fatty tissue in the artery and creates a bigger opening inside the artery for enhanced blood flow. Please refer to the figure below.
During this procedure, a physician guides an expandable mesh stent into a narrowed or blocked artery in the heart. The stent will be expanded to widen the artery and hold it open, improving blood circulation to the heart’s tissue.
Deploying the Stent
Once the blockage has been identified, the physician carefully guides a balloon-tipped catheter (which carries a collapsed stent) into the blocked artery. When the catheter is in position, the physician inflates the balloon. This expands the stent and presses it firmly against the walls of the artery. The stent widens the artery, holding it open to restore healthy blood flow.
End of the Procedure
When the cardiologist is sure that blood is flowing normally through the artery, the guide wire and catheters are removed. The patient is taken to a cardiac nursing nit, where the sheath is removed and the patient monitored. If there are no complications, the patient may be discharged the next day.