Type of Surgery


Doctor Certified

Last updated: 11/24/2009


Often the first test done to diagnose coronary artery disease is an electrocardiogram, to show the heart's rhythm. A stress test, or exercise electrocardiogram, may be performed as well, though this test can be too strenuous for some patients....

Cardiac catheterization is considered the most definitive test. It requires the injection of a special dye into the coronary arteries at the same time that a catheter is threaded up into the heart's arteries and x rays are displayed on a monitor to show any narrowing or blockage. To diagnose clogged arteries in other areas of the body, such imaging techniques, as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to visualize the presence and extent of narrowing in the blood vessels. Diagnostic procedures for aneurysm may include these same imaging tests; but often, because of the emergency nature of aneurysm, there is little time to conduct extensive testing beyond immediate confirmation of the presence of the aneurysm.

For up to twelve hours before a stent procedure or combined angioplasty and stent surgery, the patient will have to avoid eating or drinking. An intravenous line will be inserted so that medications (anticoagulants to prevent clot formation and radioactive dye for x rays) can be administered during the surgery. The patient's groin area will be shaved and cleaned with an antiseptic to prepare for the incision. About an hour before the procedure, the patient may be given a mild sedative to ensure that he or she will relax sufficiently for the procedure.



This narrated animation describes the steps involved in a coronary angiography, coronary angioplasty, and stent deployment in the coronary artery.

Related Videos

Coronary Angiography

This video describes how the circulatory system works, how disease can affect blood vessels (atherosclerosis), and how doctors use angiography to test for coronary artery blockage.

How the heart works

This narrated animation shows how blood flows through the various chambers of the heart and the electric system that controls the heart muscle's pumping action.


This 3D animation explains how the heart muscle contracts to pump blood throughout the body. The action of cells at the microscopic level affects the function of the entire cardiovascular system, as the video explains.

What causes a heart attack?

This narrated animation shows what happens in a myocardial infarction or heart attack. It shows how a blockage of a coronary artery causes a heart attack, leads to heart damage, and may lead to arrhythmias (abnormal electrical activity of the heart).


Other Information

Endovascular stent surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that uses advanced technology and instrumentation to treat such disorders of the circulatory system as blockage or damage to blood vessels caused by the build up of plaque (fatty deposits, calcium deposits, and scar tissue) in the arteries, a condition called atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The surgeon may recommend the placement of an endovascular stent, a small wire-mesh tube that surgeons call a scaffold, in an affected artery. The procedure may be done in conjunction with cleaning or repairing the artery. The twofold procedure opens, enlarges, and supports artery walls for a long-lasting improvement in blood flow and a decrease in the risk of heart attack or stroke. In endovascular stent surgery (endo, within, and vascular, blood vessel), all of the work done by the surgeon is within the blood vessels themselves. Nearly all of the medium-sized and large blood vessels in the body's vascular system can be accessed from within the vessels. This fact has contributed to a rapid increase in the performance of endovascular stent surgery.

From http://www.answers.com/topic/endovascular-stent-surgery

Other Information

Heart surgery is quite a big event and people are keen to know about their particular surgeon.

-Andy Owens

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