Nonsurgical Treatment for Coronary Artery Disease
People with coronary artery disease may benefit from angioplasty if the blockage is in a location the interventional cardiologist can reach with a catheter. Our integrated teams of interventional cardiologists, nurses and cardiovascular technologists use advanced equipment in state-of-the-art facilities to perform lifesaving angioplasties in locations across New Jersey.
When the arteries in the heart are narrowed or blocked by a buildup of fatty substances called plaque, it reduces blood flow to the heart. This buildup is called atherosclerosis, also known as coronary artery disease. Narrowed arteries are dangerous because a blood clot could form and completely stop blood flow to the heart, causing a heart attack.
A nonsurgical interventional cardiology treatment for atherosclerosis is called angioplasty, sometimes referred to as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or balloon angioplasty.
Patients with coronary artery disease can trust their hearts to the cardiovascular experts at Hackensack Meridian Health. Our integrated teams of interventional cardiologists, nurses and cardiovascular technologists use advanced equipment in state-of-the-art facilities to perform lifesaving angioplasties in locations across New Jersey.
In fact, we are the primary hospital in the state with expertise to perform emergency angioplasty to treat heart attacks within 90 minutes of arrival in the Emergency Department. This is critical as every second counts.
Unmatched Angioplasty Expertise in New Jersey
Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center performs 10 times more angioplasties and stent placements than all other hospitals in Monmouth and Ocean counties combined.
Who Is a Candidate for Angioplasty?
People with coronary artery disease may benefit from angioplasty if the blockage is in a location the interventional cardiologist can reach with a catheter. This same approach is used for emergency heart attack treatment.
What to Expect During Angioplasty
Angioplasty is performed while the patient is awake. Like other catheter-based procedures, it isn’t painful. A catheter is a small, hollow tube inserted into a blood vessel from the wrist or groin area. The area where the catheter is inserted is numbed and patients are given medicine to relax.
During the procedure, the interventional cardiologist uses advanced imaging called fluoroscopy, or moving X-rays, to guide the catheter with a balloon on the tip to the blockage in the heart. Once in place, the balloon is inflated, which presses the plaque against the artery wall and restores normal blood flow.
Sometimes the interventional cardiologist will perform other procedures, such as:
- Atherectomy – Breaking up the plaque with a blade to open the artery
- Stenting – Placing a mesh coil tube in the narrowed area to keep the artery open
The procedure itself can take from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the approach. Patients usually spend a day in hospital after angioplasty, but it could require more.
Patients need to limit activity for a few days afterward, but most people can return to regular activity within a week. Some patients may benefit from a cardiac rehabilitation program to improve strength and heart health. The care team will provide more details about what to expect before, during and after angioplasty.