These blockages can be treated several ways, including bypass – involving major surgery, lengthy incisions and general anesthesia – or minimally invasively by endovascular therapy. Several types of endovascular therapy are based on conventional balloon angioplasty in which a small cut is made in the groin and a thin tube, called a catheter, is advanced through the arteries to the site of the blockage in the legs. A tiny balloon is advanced to the blockage through the catheter and then inflated, compressing the plaque against the artery wall and opening the artery to allow better blood flow. In some cases, a tiny cage, called a stent, is left behind, which acts like scaffolding to keep the arteries propped open. Another method, called atherectomy, involves cutting out or vaporizing the plaque.
In the study, 104 men and 102 women had angioplasty alone, 29 men and 20 women had angioplasty and stenting and 48 men and 26 women had atherectomy. Some patients had more than one blockage treated. There was no difference in results between the various forms of endovascular therapy.
The International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy (ISET) is attended by more than 1,200 physicians, scientists, allied professionals and industry professionals from around the world. The meeting pioneered the use of live cases to promote the multidisciplinary treatment of cardiac and vascular disease by endovascular means. ISET is presented by the Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute, Miami. ISET 2010 is taking place Jan. 17-21 near Miami Beach, Fla. For more information, visit www.ISET.org.
Editor’s note: St
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