Percutaneous coronary intervention (stent)

Increasing the survival of patients is vital in cardiology, percutaneous coronary interventions is often a necessity to improve the longevity of life. Stents are most useful for small lesions in large the main coronary arteries that have not been previously treated and for treatment of abrupt closures during a percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA).

Coronary Syndrome

Any condition brought on by a sudden blockage or reduction of blood flow to and from the heart may be considered an acute coronary syndrome. It is typically caused by a plaque rupture or clot formation in the arteries. Some common symptoms includes chest pressure while resting or even doing light activities. This can usually be treated at an early stage with medications, but at later stages, surgery may be the best solution.

Typical signs of acute coronary syndrome:
  • Chest pain or discomfort involving pressure and tightness.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the jaw, neck, back or stomach areas.
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheadedness.
  • Constant sweating while resting.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Nausea.

To ensure that you receive the right treatment, Dr Hendrickse will check your medical history and carefully conduct a necessary medical examination. If the doctor suspects an acute coronary syndrome, the following tests will be performed:

  • A blood test can show evidence that heart cells are dying.
  • An electrocardiogram which can diagnose an acute coronary syndrome by measuring your heart’s rhythmic activity.

What happens during the procedure?

The doctor will need to take some x-ray images of your coronary arteries to locate the problem area. If a narrowing or blockage is found, a very thin wire can be placed in the area to then inflate a small balloon which will open up space for blood to flow. The balloon clears the blockage, and a stent is placed in the area to keep the artery open.