Blood vessels from the heart can become blocked by the build-up of deposits of cholesterol on their inner surface. This can cause problems with the heart and circulation such as angina.
This procedure may be done on its own or with other techniques to help remove the deposits and/or keep the blood vessel open. However, in the majority of the cases after Laser treatment a stent is inserted.
Percutaneous laser coronary angioplasty has been used for CAD with severe stenosis or atherosclerotic occlusion, when standard techniques for recanalization are unlikely to succeed or have failed.
A thin, flexible fibre-optic catheter connected to a laser-generating source outside the body is introduced via the femoral or radial artery. The catheter is advanced over a guidewire through the artery to the blockage in the coronary artery, under fluoroscopic guidance. The tip of the catheter system emits pulses of laser light to vaporise the plaque while being slowly advanced across the lesion.
Percutaneous laser coronary angioplasty aims to penetrate plaque within coronary arteries that is not amenable to standard techniques such as balloon angioplasty or stenting alone.
Percutaneous laser coronary angioplasty has also been done using a laser guidewire system but that method is not now in regular use.
This procedure is often used with adjunctive balloon angioplasty and followed by angiography to document the results.
Recently this technique has also been used to expand the underexpanded stents.
Our interventional cardiologists regularly perform Laser PCI at the Freeman Hospital Newcastle upon Tyne United Kingdom.
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