Thank you, your message has been sent!

Send Another

Email

* Denotes a required field.

Atherosclerosis (Blocked Arteries)

Find a Doctor

Need Help?

Call 888-402-LVHN (5846) Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Chat Online

Walk-In Care

If you have a minor illness, you can walk into an ExpressCare or schedule a video visit. For allergies, ear infections, cold and flu symptoms, rash and sprains.

Find an ExpressCARE Schedule a video visit

Schedule Online

Book the next available "new patient" appointment with the click of a button.

Schedule Now

How You Can Help Our Mission How You Can Help Our Mission

This is a non-profit organization. Please consider donating to help heal, comfort and care.

Learn more »

Treatment

If you have atherosclerosis, you’ll get the care you need at Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Heart and Vascular Center. Atherosclerosis treatment includes the modification of risk factors. We’ll help you quit smoking, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, manage diabetes, exercise and eat right. Medication also is used to treat atherosclerosis.

If you suffer a heart attack caused by blocked arteries, we consistently rank in the top 1 percent in the nation for heart attack survival according to U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services "Hospital Compare" data. Our fast heart attack care program, MI Alert for Heart Attacks, saves lives. It consistently opens the arteries of people suffering from a heart attack in less than 90 minutes, the “gold standard” for heart attack care.

We offer these treatments to open blocked arteries and improve blood flow in and around your heart: 

Angioplasty

AngioplastyDuring angioplasty, a thin, flexible tube (catheter) with a tiny balloon at the end is inserted through an artery in the groin and guided into the artery that is blocked. Once at the location of the blockage, the tiny balloon is inflated. This flattens the fatty deposit and opens the artery. To keep debris out of the bloodstream, we use a special safety device during angioplasty that catches particles that sometimes dislodge from the side of the artery.

Angioplasty is an important part of our award-winning, fast-action heart attack program, MI Alert for Heart Attacks. We educated local paramedics to diagnose a heart attack in the field and communicate their findings to our doctors. This allows us to prepare for a lifesaving angioplasty while the patient is on the way to the hospital, saving precious minutes. Our MI Alert for Heart Attacks program consistently opens the blocked arteries of people having a heart attack in less than 90 minutes, the “gold standard” for heart attack care. It's one reason Lehigh Valley Hospital consistently ranks in the top 1 percent in the nation for heart attack survival according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data.

Directional coronary atherectomy (DCA)

During a directional coronary atherectomy, a thin, flexible tube (catheter) is inserted into an artery through a small incision in the groin. A small blade at the end of the catheter is used to shave off fatty deposits from inside the artery. The shavings are caught within the catheter and removed.

Heart bypass surgery

During heart bypass surgery, a bypass is created by attaching a piece of a vein above and below the blocked area of a coronary artery, enabling blood to flow around the blockage. Veins are usually taken from the leg, but arteries from the chest or arm also may be used to create the bypass. Depending on the number of blocked arteries, the surgery may involve one, two, three or more bypasses. 

If you need heart bypass surgery, you’re in skilled, experienced hands at Lehigh Valley Health Network. Our board-certified cardiothoracic surgeons perform more than 1,750 surgeries each year, among the most in Pennsylvania. Because we care for such a large number of people, our doctors have the experience needed to achieve excellent results, which are consistently among the best in Pennsylvania. Surgeons are assisted by nurses and support staff who specialize in heart care. This team of specialists uses the latest devices and techniques to help you feel better faster.

If you have diabetes and need heart surgery, your blood glucose will be monitored and maintained at healthy levels during the surgery. This reduces the risk for infection and helps you recover more quickly.

Intracoronary stent

An intracoronary stent is a small wire-mesh tube that is placed in the artery to keep it open following angioplasty. Some stents are coated with a medication to prevent blood clots from forming in the area. Others are not. Your doctor will talk to you about the kind of stent that is best for you.

Medication

Medications that may be used to treat atherosclerosis include:

  • Antiplatelet medications decrease the ability of platelets in the blood to stick together and cause clots.
  • Anticoagulants, also described as "blood thinners," work differently than antiplatelet medications to decrease the ability of the blood to clot.
  • Antihyperlipidemics lower lipids (fats) in the blood, particularly low density lipid (LDL) cholesterol. Statins are a group of antihyperlipidemic medication.
  • Antihypertensives are used to lower blood pressure. There are several different groups of medications that act in different ways to lower blood pressure

Rotational coronary atherectomy (RCA)

During a rotational coronary atherectomy, a thin, flexible tube (catheter) is inserted into an artery through a small incision in the groin. A rotating edge at the end of the catheter is used to remove small particles from a narrowed artery.

Transradial angioplasty

During transradial angioplasty, a thin, flexible tube (catheter) with a tiny balloon at the end is inserted through an artery in the wrist, rather than the groin, and guided into the artery that is blocked. Once at the location of the blockage, a tiny balloon is inflated. This flattens the fatty deposit and opens the artery. This procedure is for patients who cannot undergo traditional angioplasty because they have back problems, obstructive lung conditions or groin arteries that are diseased or scarred from previous procedures.

Heart bypass surgery

During heart bypass surgery, a bypass is created by attaching a piece of a vein above and below the blocked area of a coronary artery, enabling blood to flow around the blockage. Veins are usually taken from the leg, but arteries from the chest or arm also may be used to create the bypass. Depending on the number of blocked arteries, the surgery may involve one, two, three or more bypasses. 

If you need heart bypass surgery, you’re in skilled, experienced hands at Lehigh Valley Health Network. Our board-certified cardiothoracic surgeons perform more than 1,750 surgeries each year, among the most in Pennsylvania. Because we care for such a large number of people, our doctors have the experience needed to achieve excellent results, which are consistently among the best in Pennsylvania. Surgeons are assisted by nurses and support staff who specialize in heart care. This team of specialists uses the latest devices and techniques to help you feel better faster.

If you have diabetes and need heart surgery, your blood glucose will be monitored and maintained at healthy levels during the surgery. This reduces the risk for infection and helps you recover more quickly.

Intracoronary stent

An intracoronary stent is a small wire-mesh tube that is placed in the artery to keep it open following angioplasty. Some stents are coated with a medication to prevent blood clots from forming in the area. Others are not. Your doctor will talk to you about the kind of stent that is best for you.

Medication

Medications that may be used to treat atherosclerosis include:

  • Antiplatelet medications decrease the ability of platelets in the blood to stick together and cause clots.
  • Anticoagulants, also described as "blood thinners," work differently than antiplatelet medications to decrease the ability of the blood to clot.
  • Antihyperlipidemics lower lipids (fats) in the blood, particularly low density lipid (LDL) cholesterol. Statins are a group of antihyperlipidemic medication.
  • Antihypertensives are used to lower blood pressure. There are several different groups of medications that act in different ways to lower blood pressure

Rotational coronary atherectomy (RCA)

During a rotational coronary atherectomy, a thin, flexible tube (catheter) is inserted into an artery through a small incision in the groin. A rotating edge at the end of the catheter is used to remove small particles from a narrowed artery.

Transradial angioplasty

During transradial angioplasty, a thin, flexible tube (catheter) with a tiny balloon at the end is inserted through an artery in the wrist, rather than the groin, and guided into the artery that is blocked. Once at the location of the blockage, a tiny balloon is inflated. This flattens the fatty deposit and opens the artery. This procedure is for patients who cannot undergo traditional angioplasty because they have back problems, obstructive lung conditions or groin arteries that are diseased or scarred from previous procedures.

Angioplasty



Need Help?

Call 888-402-LVHN (5846) Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Chat Online

Walk-In Care

If you have a minor illness, you can walk into an ExpressCare or schedule a video visit. For allergies, ear infections, cold and flu symptoms, rash and sprains.

Find an ExpressCARE Schedule a video visit

Schedule Online

Book the next available "new patient" appointment with the click of a button.

Schedule Now

How You Can Help Our Mission How You Can Help Our Mission

This is a non-profit organization. Please consider donating to help heal, comfort and care.

Learn more »