Why it's done

Angioplasty is used to treat a type of heart disease known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the slow buildup of fatty plaques in your heart's blood vessels. Your doctor might suggest angioplasty as a treatment option when medications or lifestyle changes aren't enough to improve your heart health, or if you have a heart attack, worsening chest pain (angina) or other symptoms.

Angioplasty isn't for everyone. If the main artery that brings blood to the left side of your heart is narrow, if your heart muscle is weak or if you have multiple diseased blood vessels, then coronary artery bypass surgery may be a better option than angioplasty. In coronary artery bypass surgery, the blocked part of your artery is bypassed using a blood vessel from another part of your body.

If you have diabetes and multiple blockages, your doctor may suggest coronary artery bypass surgery. The decision of angioplasty versus bypass surgery will depend on the extent of your heart disease and overall medical condition.

Sept. 13, 2016
References
  1. Longo DL, et al., eds. Percutaneous coronary interventions and other interventional procedures. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  2. Angioplasty. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/angioplasty. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  3. Angioplasty and vascular stenting. Radiological Society of North America. http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=angioplasty. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  4. Carrozza JP, et al. Periprocedural complications of percutaneous coronary intervention. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 20, 2016.
  5. Levine GN, et al. 2011 ACCF/AHA/SCAI Guideline for percutaneous coronary intervention: A report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. Circulation. 2011;124:e574.