When coronary artery blockages – a condition which causes heart attacks and chest pain, occur, balloon angioplasty and stenting is a good option for treatment. Unfortunately, if the artery has calcium deposits, this then prevents the balloon from dilating it properly. If the balloon cannot dilate the vessel, the stent will not be able to be fitted properly. This can/will cause failure, and re-blockage of the coronary artery.
There have been many ways to tackle this problem, since it was identified as a major obstacle in successful angioplasty, including drills (Rotablator), and high-pressure dilatation.
Gleneagles Hospital Penang is now offering Shockwave Intravascular Lithotripsy (IVL) as part of our services for cardiac patients.
Shockwave Intravascular Lithotripsy (IVL) is the use of high pressure and transient shockwaves which will then crack the calcium in the artery without causing any damage to the surrounding tissue. This shockwave is a miniaturised version of the familiar shockwave technology which is used in pulverising kidney stones so that they can be passed safely in the urine and not cause any obstruction or pain.
In Coronary Shockwave therapy, a special balloon catheter with electrodes on it is passed into the coronary artery using standard catheterization techniques. Once the catheter is in position, controlled energy shockwaves are fired exactly where they are required. This is done safely and under direct visualization. Once adequate shockwaves have been delivered, the calcium will then crack and allow the artery to be dilated normally to its maximum diameter.
This will then allow the balloon angioplasty to proceed as usual and the stent to be implanted optimally.
This technology has taken the cardiology world by storm by its safe use and effective outcome.
We at Gleneagles Hospital Penang feel that by keeping abreast of the latest technology in cardiac treatment, we will be able to provide our patients with effective and revolutionary world class therapies, ensuring value for money.