Heart Disease - Angioplasty

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Angioplasty and stenting

If the coronary angiogram (coronary=heart + angio=artery + gram=record) shows significant blockage in an artery, the cardiologist may attempt an angioplasty, in which a balloon is placed via a catheter (as with angiography) at the area of narrowing and when quickly inflated, compresses the offending plaque into the wall of the artery. Often a stent, or a metal cage, is placed at the site of angioplasty to keep the blood vessel from narrowing again. Should a stent be placed, patients are usually started on antiplatelet medication to prevent clot formation. Clopidogrel (Plavix) and prasugrel (Effient) are the two most common medications prescribed.

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