As with any medical procedure, angioplasty alone or in combination with stenting is the right treatment for patients who meet certain criteria. If you have blockages in your arteries, your physician will assess the severity of your cardiovascular disease and where you best fit among a range of treatment options – sometimes referred to as the spectrum of care.
The spectrum of care options for cardiovascular disease consist of a combination of treatments including --
- Lifestyle changes
- Revascularization, or treatment to re-establish blood flow through a narrowed artery. Options for revascularization include:
- Angioplasty and stenting, as well as other interventional procedures
- Coronary bypass surgery
Some patients may be at the beginning stages of cardiovascular disease. In this case, changing lifestyle elements such as diet and exercise might be enough to get you back on track for good health. For other patients, medication in addition to lifestyle changes can slow or reverse the progress of cardiovascular disease. For patients with more advanced disease, medication and lifestyle changes and a revascularization procedure may be necessary.
Your interventional cardiologist will work with other healthcare providers to determine which treatment options are likely to benefit you most. These treatment decisions are based on education and experience, as well as being grounded in practice guidelines – standards developed by leading experts in the field of cardiology to guide the profession. These frequently updated guidelines are drafted after careful review of all the peer-reviewed information and data available.
Throughout the decision-making process, the patient is also a core member of the care team. You can help your interventional cardiologist determine which treatment options make the most sense for you based on the quality of life you desire. Participating in your own care starts with something as simple as writing down questions you may have about the procedure and bringing that list to your next appointment. Your interventional cardiologist can work with you to find a truly individualized treatment.