This is a very effective therapy for isolated disease of the coronary arteries.
A catheter is placed into the coronary artery using coronary angiography (click for video), and a small balloon can be used to inflate the diseased area . This area can then be held open with a coronary stent (click for video). The advantage of this approach is that it can be performed as a day case, and requires no surgery. The catheter is inserted into the body via a wrist or groing vessel. The disadvantage of this approach is that the stent can block over time leading to recurrence of symptoms.
Surgery for certain types of disease is more likely to offer you better longterm results. This is particularly true for multiple lesions, and for high grade proximal lesions.
In the emergency setting during the early evolution of a heart attack, rapid transfer to a specialist centre for emergency primary percutaneous coronary intervention mitigates the extent of damage to your heart and can be life saving.
In the non-emergency situation, your cardiologist and surgeon will be able to make the correct judgement for you regarding the suitability of stenting or surgery. If you are referred to The keyhole Heart Clinic, your case will be discussed by a multidisciplinary team to ensure the pros and cons of these different strategies can be presented to you for your ultimate decision.
Alternatively, if you are not sure which decision to make, we can ensure that the best evidence will be used in making the decision for you.