Treatment for Heart Disease
Using Medications to Treat Heart Disease
What Kind of Procedures Can Be Done?
Advanced heart disease may require special procedures to open an artery and improve blood flow. These operations are usually done to ease severe chest pain or clear blood vessel blockages.
Examples of procedures used for the treatment of heart disease include:
In coronary angioplasty
, also known as "balloon" angioplasty, a thin tube called a catheter is threaded through an artery into the narrowed heart vessel. The catheter has a tiny balloon at its tip, which is repeatedly inflated and deflated to open and stretch the artery. Then the balloon is deflated and the catheter removed. This process improves blood flow, reducing chest pain and helping to prevent a heart attack
Compared with coronary artery bypass surgery
, the advantages of angioplasty are that the procedure is less invasive, the patient receives local anesthesia only, and the recovery period is shorter. The disadvantage is that, in some cases, the artery closes up again. If this happens, you will need a second angioplasty or bypass surgery.
In most cases, coronary angioplasty is a planned procedure. But it is also used as an emergency treatment during a heart attack
to quickly open a blocked coronary artery. The procedure minimizes damage during a heart attack and restores blood flow to the heart muscle.