Tags: angioplasty | stents | simple heart test

Angioplasty and Stents: Do They Work?

By    |   Sunday, 19 Oct 2014 11:53 AM

More than a half million angioplasties are performed every year in the U.S. to open blocked arteries, with or without stents. It’s a $12 billion a year industry. But if you’re considering angioplasty or stents, you may wonder, do they work?

Angioplasties are used to open clogged arteries and involve temporarily inserting and inflating a tiny balloon where your artery is clogged to help widen the artery. After widening the vessel, surgeons may choose to insert a stent to support artery walls and keep the vessels open wide.

According to HealthCentral.com, improvements in treatment have resulted in angioplasty success rates of between 96 and 99 percent. The biggest risk is an artery collapse, which can trigger a heart attack, but the risk is very small, between 1 and 3 percent. The risk of dying during angioplasty is between 1 and 2 percent.

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Because success rates are so high, angioplasty’s popularity as an elective procedure has grown, leading many to question whether the procedures are justified.

A 2011 study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the overwhelming majority of angioplasties performed on an emergency basis were warranted, but non-emergency procedures were a different story. As many as half of the elective procedures were shown not to benefit patients, with one in nine angioplasties deemed inappropriate if performed when no symptoms were present. 

Angioplasty isn’t for everyone. Patients with blood vessel spasms or those with extremely hard plaque deposits or long plaque blockages may not be a good fit. Those with blood clotting disorders, diabetes, or kidney disease may be at higher risk of complications from the procedure. 

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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More than a half million angioplasties are performed every year in the U.S. to open blocked arteries, with or without stents. It’s a $12 billion a year industry. But if you’re considering angioplasty or stents, you may wonder, do they work?
angioplasty, stents, simple heart test
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2014-53-19
Sunday, 19 Oct 2014 11:53 AM
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