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Laser angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that uses laser energy to open up blocked or narrowed arteries in the heart. The goal of the procedure is to restore coronary artery blood flow in the arteries.

During the procedure, a catheter is inserted into an artery which releases an enhanced light beam that dissolves the obstructions in its path that are difficult to remove with traditional angioplasty.

Benefits of Laser Angioplasty

Some of the benefits of laser angioplasty as compared to conventional angioplasty procedure may include:

  • The procedure is fast
  • Minimal downtime
  • Minimal discomfort to the patient
  • Less hospital stays with faster recovery time

The Procedure

Laser angioplasty procedure is performed by an interventional cardiologist or vascular specialist. Before the procedure, an examination is conducted as the first step in the treatment process. They will ascertain the precise nature of the problem and formulate a treatment plan that takes into account the patient’s overall health as well as additional medical conditions that may have an impact on the course of treatment.

During the procedure, which is performed under general anesthesia, a small incision is made on the groin whereby a wire is inserted into the femoral artery and moved to where the blockages are preventing blood flow using real-time X-ray imaging.

The wire will serve as a guide for a tube that is implanted and moved to the obstruction area once it has been reached. The doctor the inserts a laser into the tube and moves it to the blockage spot. Once it is in place, the laser will be used to vaporize build-up on the artery walls. The laser, tube, and wire will then be removed after the plaque has been vaporized, and the groin incision will be sutured.

Depending on the patient’s overall physical condition, he/she may be discharged the following day.

Possible Complications Associated with Angioplasty

The following complications may be associated with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) which includes laser angioplasty, atherectomy, and standard balloon angioplasty:

  • Vascular injury
  • Coronary thromboembolism
  • Atheromatous plaque disruption
  • Abrupt closure
  • Platelet activation
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