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cardiac procedures

biodegradable stents

Coronary artery blockages can cause the blood supply to the heart to stop. Conventionally we have used metal stent mounted on a balloon to open up blocked arteries and to keep them open.
In the last few years there is a new type of stent available that is made of a biodegradable material that dissolves away completely after 18 months to 2 years. This means that there no longer any stent left within the artery for the rest of the patients life. This may have implications for younger patients and those requiring a long segment of artery that needs to be stented.

So, you are having an angiogram?

A coronary angiogram is the procedure that is the gold standard for assessing the degree of a possible narrowing of the arteries of the heart. The procedure takes about 30 minutes to do and is performed in a cardiac catheter lab. Usually you are awake for the procedure, but you can ask for sedation if you are very anxious.
The procedure is performed either from the top of the leg or from the wrist. Local anaesthetic is given to numb the skin, then a small tube called a catheter is passed up towards the arteries to the heart.