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On 30th Anniversary, Angioplasty Celebrated as Modern Medical Breakthrough in Stopping Heart Attack
Date:9/13/2007

Next Horizon: Using Angioplasty and Stents to Stop Stroke

ZURICH, Switzerland, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Thirty years ago this week, a German doctor working in Switzerland used a small tube with a tiny balloon on the end, called a balloon-catheter, to open his patient's blocked heart artery.

The procedure, called angioplasty, restored normal blood flow to the heart, relieved the 38-year-old patient's chest pain and likely prevented a heart attack. It also marked a breakthrough that, three decades later, has saved the lives of millions of heart attack victims and enabled heart attack survivors to enjoy more normal lives. Before angioplasty, survivors of heart attacks often faced life-long disability and physical restriction.

Interventional cardiologists from around the world are in Zurich this weekend to celebrate angioplasty's 30 years of progress in stopping heart attacks and treating coronary artery disease. They are also looking ahead to new frontiers, including the promise of angioplasty and stent placement to stop stroke, America's third-largest killer and the leading cause of serious disability.

A special guest of the 30-Year Anniversary of Coronary Angioplasty Conference is the world's first angioplasty patient, Dolf Bachmann, now 68 years old. Bachmann is living testimony of the life-saving angioplasty procedure that the late Andreas Gruentzig, M.D., developed and taught to hundreds of cardiologists.

"Thirty years ago, one in four heart attack victims died," said Bonnie Weiner, M.D, President of The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) and Professor of Medicine and Interim Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at St. Vincent Hospital at Worcester Medical Center in Worcester, MA. "Today, more than 95 percent survive. And it's very typical for heart attack survivors to return to work and normal activities just a few days after angioplasty."

Improved cardiac care, including the minimally inva
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SOURCE The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and
Interventions
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