Balloon coronary angioplasty
This was the first technique to be developed to “unblock” obstructed or nearly obstructed coronary arteries. The only variation between different techniques is how this happens. This first technique was developed by Dr Andreas Grüntzig in 1977, and represented a revolution in the percutaneous treatment of coronary disease (any syndrome).
It consists of dilating the atheromatous plaque responsible for the ischaemia with a balloon. This breaks the plaque and considerably increases the span available in the artery, thus resolving the ischaemia. The mechanism can be described, then, as breaking, fragmenting and crushing the atheroma, creating a wound and forcing the remodelling of the arterial wall; the subsequent healing process, if favourable, consolidates revascularisation practically without a trace. Angioplasty with a balloon is still used as a supplementary method, facilitating with pre-dilation and consolidating with post-dilation. This method will unquestionably continue to form part of our therapeutic arsenal.
First angioplasty with balloon in Cordoba
The first angioplasty with balloon performed in Cordoba took place on February 3rd, 1983. The picture shows angiographies of the left coronary tree with a lateral projection. At baseline, we can see proximal stenosis (narrowing) of the anterior descending coronary artery. After inflating the contrast-filled balloon, a new angiography shows the change in span in the stenotic segment. The follow-up angiography shows good evolution of the treated segment (ischaemic TIA).