New tech may make angioplasty easier, safer

It involves ablating the calcium deposition in the artery using sonic waves before putting a stent for improved blood flow.

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New tech may make angioplasty easier, safer

New Delhi: For patients with a blocked artery, involving heavily calcified blood vessels, a new technology introduced in India recently promises to make angioplasty much easier.

Sonic waves

It involves ablating the calcium deposition in the artery using sonic waves before putting a stent for improved blood flow.

Having calcified artery causing blockage is seen in about 10% to 15% of patients, especially those who are elderly and diabetic, say doctors.

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According to Dr Ashok Seth, chairman, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, in such patients it becomes difficult to open these blockages and implant stents.

“Intravascular Lithotripsy generates sonic pressure waves to break up problematic calcium so that artery can be opened with ease and blood flow restored with the placement of a stent.

The therapy leverages a minimally invasive approach that has been embraced by physicians for decades to treat kidney stones,” he said.

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Calcified artery

Dr Seth and his team performed the first case in the country on a 67-year-old man with heavily calcified artery.

Dr Praveen Chandra, chairman, interventional cardiology at Medanta – The Medicity, Gurgaon, said that they also performed a case using the new technology last week.

“Earlier, we had to drill into the artery using special equipment to remove the calcium deposition. It was risky,” he said.

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Intravascular Lithotripsy uses a small generator to produce therapeutic sonic pressure waves from a catheter that is threaded through the arterial system to the site of the blockage.

The pressure waves pass through the soft vascular tissue, preferentially disrupting the hardened calcified plaque inside the arterial wall by creating a series of micro-fractures, said Gurmit Singh Chugh, CEO, Translumina, partners of Shockwave Medical for India.

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