Absorb GT1™ (Absorb) - the only fully dissolving stentAbsorb GT1™ (Absorb) - the only fully dissolving stent

Treatment Options

Your doctor may consider many options for treating your coronary artery disease, choosing the best treatment for your condition.

Medicines That Manage Coronary Artery Disease Can:


Click on a section to learn more.

PREVENTS CLOTS

Antiplatelets

Anticoagulants

You may need to take an antiplatelet medicine to prevent clots from forming after a stent procedure. If you need a stent, ask your doctor about a new option called the fully dissolving stent.

OPEN ARTERIES & REDUCE CHEST PAIN

Nitrates

Calcium channel blockers

LOWER CHOLESTEROL

Statins

LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE & HEART RATE

Beta blockers

Calcium channel blockers

ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors

ARBs (angiotensin II receptor blockers)

It’s important to take your medicines as directed. You may need to take some medicines long term to manage coronary artery disease. Certain medicines may also help lower your risk for serious problems like a heart attack.

If your doctor believes a stent may be right for you, ask if a new option called Absorb—the only fully dissolving stent—is right for you.

Angioplasty

Steps of an Angioplasty and Stent Procedure

Angioplasty is a fairly common procedure that lasts about 1 hour.
 Angioplasty is called a procedure—not a surgery—since the doctor makes only very small incisions (cuts).

FINDING THE BLOCKAGE

The cardiologist (heart doctor) uses a special type of x-ray to check blood flow and find blockages in your arteries.

UNBLOCKING THE ARTERY

The cardiologist inserts a catheter (narrow tube) into the artery near the blockage. The catheter contains a small, narrow balloon. The balloon is inflated to press the plaque (fatty deposit) against the artery wall. This opens the blockage and allows greater blood flow.

INSERTING THE STENT

If needed, the cardiologist inserts a stent, and a balloon is inflated to expand the stent so it fits tightly against the artery wall.

LEAVING THE STENT IN PLACE

Then the catheter and balloon are removed. With metal stents, the stent remains in place for life. But a new dissolving stent is now available to treat many blocked vessels.

Make sure you know what types of stents are available—including a new option called Absorb, the only fully dissolving stent.

Prepare for the Angioplasty Procedure

Knowing what to expect can help you feel more comfortable.

Several Days Before

Your doctor will tell you how to prepare for the procedure. 

For 6 to 8 Hours Before

You might be asked not to eat or drink anything.

The Day of the Procedure

Take only small sips of water with pills that morning. When you get to the hospital, a nurse will greet you and bring you to the cardiac catheterization lab (or cath lab). You may be given only local anesthesia and medicine to make you drowsy, so you may be aware of people moving and talking near you. You might feel pressure when the catheter is inserted, but you shouldn't feel pain.

After It's Over

You may be in a recovery room for a few hours, under warm blankets. It's important to lie still after the procedure, to allow the small puncture in your artery to close. Pressure is also applied to the site to make sure the bleeding stops. You may go home in a few hours, or you may need to stay overnight. Plan to have an adult at the hospital who can take you home. Before you leave, be sure to:

  • Fill any prescriptions you need
  • Understand your follow-up care

Make sure you know what types of stents are available—including a new option called Absorb, the only fully dissolving stent.

Surgery Can Also Improve Blood Flow to the Heart

You may need bypass surgery if other options, like angioplasty or stents, do not treat your coronary artery disease well enough. This type of heart surgery is also called coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG, pronounced “cabbage”), and it is open-heart surgery.


The cardiologist (heart doctor)
cuts into the patient’s chest
to reach the heart.


The cardiologist takes part of a healthy
blood vessel from the person’s
chest, leg, or wrist.


The cardiologist attaches the
healthy vessel on both sides of the
blockage in the artery. This
 healthy vessel, which bypasses
(goes around) the blockage,
lets blood flow more
freely to the heart.

Heart-Healthy Checklist

STOP SMOKING

This gives your heart more oxygen. The benefits start right away and continue for many years. Support groups and medicines can help you quit.

BE ACTIVE

Regular physical activity can help you lose weight and improve your heart health. Talk to your doctor about starting an exercise routine.

 

STAY AT A HEALTHY WEIGHT

Losing even 5 to 10 pounds—and keeping it off—can lower your risk of heart disease.

WATCH YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE, CHOLESTEROL, AND BLOOD SUGAR

Keeping an eye on these numbers can help you manage your coronary artery disease

Find Hospitals with Absorb

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