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What Results Can You Expect From Cardiac Catheterization With Angioplasty and Atherectomy?

Clip Number: 12 of 38
Presentation: Atherectomy
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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After this procedure, you can expect that your doctor will have valuable information about your coronary arteries, valves, the pumping ability of your heart and the condition of your heart muscle.
If your doctor discovers that you have blocked arteries and proceeds with a balloon angioplasty, you can expect that your treated arteries will be expanded. This should improve blood and oxygen flow to your heart muscle. More than 90 out of 100 angioplasty procedures are considered successful.
Benefits you may obtain from this procedure often include a significant relief from chest pain and a decrease in the need for heart medication.
If your doctor also inserts a stent during your procedure, in most cases, you can expect that your expanded artery will remain open longer, than with angioplasty alone. Although, there is no guarantee how long any artery will stay open despite the use of angioplasty or a stent.
In fact, the rate of artery reclosure with angioplasty and atherectomy alone is approximately 10 to 30 out of 100 procedures within 6 months. With stenting, this lowers to 1-20 out of 100 procedures within 6 months.
Re-closure usually occurs slowly, weeks or even months after the procedure. This is because new plaque deposits may form or your artery may narrow during the healing process. If your artery does not re-close within 6 months after your procedure it usually stays open. Depending on your condition and symptoms, re-closure can be treated with drugs, or with a second angioplasty. About 25 out of 100 patients undergo a repeat angioplasty because of re-closure. Coronary Artery Bypass surgery is often recommended for patients who cannot be treated with a repeat angioplasty or by drugs alone.
If you have any questions, you and your doctor can discuss the expected results in your particular situation. It is important to make sure that your expectations match your doctor's expectations.

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