Piedmont Columbus Regional launched a new program in 2014 that allows treatment of patients that have coronary artery disease on site, at the time of the cardiac catheterization and to treat patients that are having an acute heart attack. Percutaneous coronary intervention is the standard treatment for coronary artery disease. Percutaneous coronary intervention is a non-surgical procedure that uses a thin catheter to place a stent to open up blood vessels in the heart that have been narrowed by plaque buildup, a condition known as atherosclerosis. This restores the blood flow to the heart muscle without open heart surgery. The catheter has a balloon on the tip and once it is in place, the balloon is inflated at the narrowed area of the coronary artery. This presses the fatty tissue against the sides of the artery making more room for blood to flow through the vessel.
Once the blockage is opened with the balloon, the stent is inserted to keep the area from narrowing again. This procedure is completed under X-Ray and contrast is injected into the coronary arteries live to visualize the contrast moving through the coronary arteries. Medication is also prescribed to be taken post stent placement to assist in keeping the stent open. Patients should follow up with their primary physician to monitor the risk factors for coronary artery disease. You should take all medication as prescribed and if you have any questions you should contact your cardiologist for further education. All community cardiologists participate with the cardiac services provided at Piedmont Columbus Regional Midtown Campus.