Angioplasty procedure alternative therapy
May 16 2016 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Coronary angioplasty is a medical procedure in which a balloon is used to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels of the heart (coronary arteries). Following a heart attack, many patients continue to have low blood flow to the heart tissue, yet have no symptoms. These "silent" heart attacks are sometimes best treated with angioplasty rather than with medications, although lifestyle changes and certain supplements could make a significant difference.
   There are natural supplements, diet and food choices that can reduce the risk for heart disease and reduce the necessity of an angioplasty.

Timing of angioplasty
Heart attack survivors with mild or no symptoms who wait three days or more to seek medical help will not benefit from an angioplasty. The artery-clearing procedure called angioplasty is recommended for almost all heart attack patients with completely blocked arteries who seek treatment within the first 12 hours of a heart attack. The early treatment restores blood flow to the heart, preserving the heart muscle and reducing the risks of death and heart failure, a chronic condition in which the heart pumps blood less efficiently. But about 30 percent of acute heart attack patients arrive at the hospital after the 12-hour treatment window has closed. Many doctors had assumed some angioplasty benefit would extend to patients who sought help beyond the treatment window. Researchers said surgically restoring blood flow after three days was no better than standard drug therapy at reducing the risk of death, a second heart attack or heart failure.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014. Balloon angioplasty, with and without stenting, versus medical therapy for hypertensive patients with renal artery stenosis. Atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis is the most common cause of secondary hypertension. Balloon angioplasty with stenting is widely used for the treatment of hypertensive patients with renal artery stenosis but the effectiveness of this procedure in treating hypertension, improving renal function and preventing adverse cardiovascular and renal events remains uncertain. The available data are insufficient to conclude that revascularisation in the form of balloon angioplasty, with or without stenting, is superior to medical therapy for the treatment of atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis in patients with hypertension. However, balloon angioplasty results in a small improvement in diastolic blood pressure and a small reduction in antihypertensive drug requirements. Balloon angioplasty appears safe and results in similar numbers of cardiovascular and renal adverse events to medical therapy.