Angioplasty Treatments

Angioplasty is a non-surgical, safe treatment designed to open blocked or obstructed arteries. At St. Vincent’s, we perform several types of angioplasty treatments.

Our treatments help to restore arterial blood flow to you or your loved one’s heart, without requiring open-heart surgery.

Bioresorbable Stents

St. Vincent’s Medical Center has implanted the first bioresorbable coronary artery stent in Connecticut. Traditionally, coronary artery disease has been treated with medication, bypass surgery or stenting of the diseased artery. Coronary artery stents up until now have been made of some form of  metal and leave a lifelong metallic implant in an artery. Bioresorable stent technology provides the revascularization ability of a traditional stent while enhancing mechanical conditioning of the artery. Over time, the stent is bioresorbed, leaving a normal functioning artery to naturally regulate blood flow.

Elective Angioplasty

Elective Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure performed in St. Vincent’s cardiovascular catheterization laboratory, under local anesthesia. During this procedure, a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in the upper thigh (groin). Using high-resolution fluoroscopic (X-ray) video and film equipment, the catheter is guided through to the peripheral artery that is being treated. Once the catheter is in place the balloon is inflated and the narrowed peripheral artery is stretched open. The fatty plaque or blockage is pressed against the peripheral artery walls enlarging the diameter of the peripheral artery. After the blocked area of the peripheral artery is widened, the balloon is deflated and removed. Blood flowing through the peripheral artery is increased, supplying blood to the heart.

Emergency Angioplasty: PAMI (Primary Angioplasty in Myocardial Infarction)

At St. Vincent’s we are pioneers in the introduction of Primary Angioplasty Myocardial Infarction (PAMI) or emergency angioplasty, developed more than 20 years ago. If you or a loved one is brought to our Emergency Room with a suspected heart attack, the PAMI team is assembled to ensure the blockage is removed and the blood flow is restored within the 90-minute window, as recommended by the American Medical Association. This window also offers the best outcomes for patients following a heart attack. In this procedure, your doctor inserts a long, thin tube (catheter) into the narrowed part of your artery, inflates a balloon when the blockage is reached, pressing back the plaque to allow an opening. A permanent stent is often placed in the artery to help keep it open.

High-Risk Angioplasty

High-risk angioplasty involves complex stenting of clogged arteries. It has traditionally not been an available option for elderly patients with advanced cardiovascular disease, especially those with other serious conditions such as kidney disease. The procedure typically called for is a sternotomy, or opening the chest. The blood loss and invasive nature of the surgery would place an intolerable strain on such a patient’s heart. As an alternative for certain individuals who are deemed to be candidates, at St. Vincent’s, minimally invasive angioplasty is performed in St. Vincent’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory can now be performed. This involves the guidance of a tiny camera threaded along with the heart-assist device itself up through the femoral artery starting at the groin area

The small motor located at the tip of the device allows it to circulate the blood during the procedure. It takes the blood out of the ventricle pumping it to the rest of the body, therefore protecting the heart. Because of this heart assist, the cardiologist has more time to position the stents, and patients can be stabilized faster. And because the device has allowed the heart to rest, patients recover more quickly and can be discharged sooner.

Three Catheterization Laboratories

At St. Vincent’s Regional Heart and Vascular Center, we have three state-of-the-art catheterization laboratories to treat you and your loved ones. Our compassionate care team is at the ready to perform emergency angioplasty treatments, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Catheterization Lab