Angioplasty is a procedure to widen blocked blood vessels while stenting prevents future narrowing or blockage.  

During angioplasty and stenting, your doctor inserts a very small balloon attached to a thin catheter into a blood vessel through a small nick in the skin. The catheter is threaded under X-ray guidance to the site of the blocked artery. The balloon is inflated to open the artery. Sometimes, a small metal scaffold, called a stent, is inserted to keep the blood vessel open.

Balloon angioplasty and stenting have generally replaced open surgery as the first-line treatment because randomized trials have shown interventional therapy to be as effective as surgery for many arterial occlusions.

In the past 7 to 10 years, a very large clinical experience in centers around the world has shown that stenting and angioplasty are preferred as a first-line treatment for more and more processes throughout the body.

Angioplasty and Stenting at Wake Forest Baptist

Wake Forest Baptist has been an accredited Chest Pain Center since 2004. Physicians in our emergency department work quickly to identify chest pain patients who will benefit from angioplasty and stenting so that those patients can receive treatment quickly.

We exceed national standards for treating emergency chest pain with angioplasty. The American College of Cardiology recommends that chest pain patients receive angioplasty no more than 90 minutes from the time they arrive in the emergency department. At Wake Forest Baptist, our "door to balloon" time is substantially shorter.