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Artery Reclosure and Angioplasty

During an angioplasty, blood flow through the artery can become blocked, which can lead to complications, including artery reclosure. Angioplasty, for instance, can cause a large tear in the artery. In other cases, artery reclosure occurs as the result of the formation of blood clots at the site of the angioplasty. About half of abrupt closures can be reversed by simply performing another balloon dilation, but artery reclosure during angioplasty may require emergency open heart surgery in severe cases.

An Introduction to Artery Reclosure and Angioplasty

Injuries can occur during an angioplasty. For example, a tear to the inside of your artery may occur as the balloon expands against the plaque. This is a common occurrence with balloon angioplasty, and most injuries heal by themselves. However, if the tear progresses and becomes quite large, it can actually block the flow of blood through the artery. This is called an "abrupt closure of the artery" and usually occurs within minutes of the balloon's inflation. You will experience severe chest pain if this occurs.
About half of abrupt closures can be reversed by simply performing another balloon dilation. A stent may also be placed to help keep the artery open. If it is not possible to safely open the artery by balloon dilation, emergency coronary bypass surgery may be necessary. Because the bypass surgery is done only in emergencies, the risks (which include death) are higher than those of a regularly scheduled bypass surgery.
Abrupt closure can also occur due to the formation of clots at the site of the angioplasty. If this is the cause, treatment can include balloon dilation and blood-thinning medication.
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Coronary Angioplasty

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