Angioplasty

Depend on the skilled team at Tyler Heart Institute to expertly perform angioplasty, a minimally invasive treatment to open narrow or clogged arteries.

Tyler Heart Institute is the dedicated cardiovascular department for Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, part of Montage Health.

What’s angioplasty?

Angioplasty opens arteries blocked by plaque (fat) to restore healthy blood flow to the heart. Usually, a stent (small, metallic tube) is inserted during the same procedure to keep the artery open.

Doctors may use angioplasty to improve heart disease symptoms, such as chest pain, or symptoms of peripheral vascular disease (PVD). The procedure also can stop a heart attack and save your life.

When angioplasty treats heart (coronary) arteries, it may be called percutaneous coronary intervention, or PCI. Angioplasty can also treat plaque buildup elsewhere in the body, such as the:

  • Arteries of the lower extremities (legs)
  • Mesenteric (intestinal) arteries
  • Renal (kidney) arteries

Conditions treated

Your doctor may order angioplasty if you have:

What to expect

Your angioplasty will take place at Community Hospital’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab, a specialized setting for minimally invasive heart and vascular procedures. Angioplasty is sometimes performed as an emergency treatment. If it isn't an emergency, you’ll meet with your cardiologist before treatment to discuss how to prepare and what you can expect.

During the procedure

You’ll lie on a table during angioplasty. You’ll be awake, but you’ll receive sedation, medication that helps you relax.

Your doctor will make a small incision near your groin and insert a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into a blood vessel. The catheter will move through the body to the blocked artery. A small amount of dye in the catheter will help your doctor view blockages on X-ray images called angiograms.

Once in place, a tiny balloon at the tip of the catheter will inflate to press the plaque against the artery wall and restore blood flow. If you have other blockages, your doctor will repeat the process for them.

How long does angioplasty take?

The procedure usually takes one or two hours.

After angioplasty

Most patients stay in the hospital overnight and go home the day after the procedure.

Your doctor will prescribe medication to help prevent blood clots. Follow your doctor’s instructions on taking care of yourself. You may not be able to drive for a certain amount of time.

Most people can return to work and their normal activities about a week after leaving the hospital.

Follow-up care

During follow-up appointments, your doctor will:

  • Monitor how your recovery is going
  • Give you a physical examination and perform any needed tests
  • Make any needed changes to your medications
  • Provide a referral for cardiovascular rehabilitation, a supervised education and exercise program that can help speed your healing process

How to make an appointment

You’ll need a referral from your doctor or a cardiologist to get care at Tyler Heart Institute. Talk to your primary care provider, search for a cardiologist, or contact us at (831) 625-4934.

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