If you have atherosclerosis and your condition isn't improving despite following a conservative treatment program, you could be a candidate for coronary artery intervention. Board-certified interventional cardiologist Rahul Gaglani, MD, at Core Cardiology in Murrieta, California, is an expert in performing procedures such as percutaneous coronary intervention and coronary artery bypass grafts. To learn more, call the office or schedule a consultation online today.
A coronary artery intervention is a procedure Dr. Gaglani performs to restore blood flow to your heart when you have blocked or narrowed arteries. There are several types of coronary artery intervention:
PCI is also known as angioplasty with stent and is a nonsurgical cardiac catheterization procedure. Dr. Gaglani uses a radial approach to perform PCI, inserting a slim tube called a catheter into an artery in your wrist.
He passes the catheter up to the blocked blood vessel and inflates a small balloon on the end of it. This flattens the plaque that's causing blockage in the artery. The stent is a cylinder made of mesh that stays in place to hold the artery open.
Laser atherectomy uses a catheter that produces an intense beam of light energy. The laser energy destroys the blockage in your arteries.
Bypass surgery is a more invasive procedure that involves stopping the heart and replacing a blocked artery.
Coronary artery interventions are treatments for blocked arteries, and the most common cause of narrowing or blocking of the arteries is atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is the root cause of many heart and vascular conditions. It develops gradually due to a build-up of a substance called plaque inside your blood vessels. Plaque consists of a mixture of cholesterol, calcium, and other waste materials that exist in your bloodstream.
Plaque is sticky and attaches to the walls of your arteries. Over time, plaque can become so thick it severely reduces blood flow. Eventually, it can block the artery completely, causing a heart attack or stroke.
Another risk of having atherosclerosis is that a piece of plaque could detach itself and pass around your bloodstream until it gets stuck, blocking an artery. Plaque can also lead to blood clots, another potential cause of arterial blockages.
A coronary artery intervention may be recommended if you suffer from angina (chest pain) that's getting worse or you experience a heart attack.
You might need emergency coronary artery intervention in the event of a severe heart attack to get blood flowing quickly and reduce long-term damage.
If you have atherosclerosis, making changes to your lifestyle like reducing cholesterol, losing weight, stopping smoking, and getting regular exercise can help improve your heart health. Dr. Gaglani can advise you on changes that you need to make.
He can also prescribe any medications you might need, such as calcium channel blockers to reduce blood pressure and statins to lower cholesterol levels.
If you've tried these methods but your heart health isn't improving, a coronary artery intervention might be the solution.
Find out more about coronary artery interventions and whether you're a suitable candidate by calling Core Cardiology or booking an appointment online today.