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How have angioplasty and stenting changed the treatment of heart attacks?

J J. Marshall, MD
J J. Marshall, MD on behalf of SCAI
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Treatments for heart attack patients have changed dramatically over the last 30 years. Early treatment consisted of simply putting patients on bed rest in the coronary care unit for several weeks. Then medicines to dissolve the blood clots began to be added to treatment. With the introduction of interventional cardiology - procedures performed using thin, flexible tubes called catheters - physicians could quickly go into a patient’s arteries with balloons and wires and open up the coronary arteries and place stents like scaffolding to keep them open. Interventional procedures save more lives and reduce the risk of a second heart attack.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.