Coronary Angioplasty – Advantages and Disadvantages

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Last Updated on Mar 12, 2016
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Advantages and Disadvantages

Coronary angioplasty is a quicker procedure compared to coronary bypass surgery with a faster recovery. However, it is difficult to perform if multiple vessels are affected.

The advantages of coronary angioplasty over a coronary bypass procedure are:

  • It can be done under local anesthesia. Thus the complications of general anesthesia as well as the increase in recovery time can be avoided.
  • The procedure is faster. Recovery period is shorter and less painful.
  • The procedure does not leave a noticeable scar.
  • It is less expensive.
  • It is a useful procedure for patients unwilling or unable to undergo surgery.
  • A repeat procedure, if required, is easier to perform than a repeat bypass surgery.

The disadvantages of coronary angioplasty are:

  • Coronary angioplasty can be used only if one or two arteries are affected. The procedure is not suitable if multiple blood vessels are affected or the artery is narrowed at multiple locations.
  • It cannot be used in arteries that cannot be reached by the catheter.
  • It may not be effective against very hard atherosclerotic plaques.
  • Restenosis may occur, especially if a stent is not placed during the procedure. This may require a repeat procedure.

Reference:

  1. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine 17th edition

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