Brachytherapy uses radiation to open blocked heart arteries, often combined with stent placement and angioplasty. Some patients may experience a recurrence of artery blockage after stent placement. Brachytherapy, used during an angioplasty, radiates the area to restrict cell growth. This prevents scar formation and creates a block in the stent. Brachytherapy is performed in the following steps:
- A catheter with a small amount of radiation is send to the narrowed artery.
- The catheter delivers the radiation.
- The catheter is withdrawn.
This treatment adds only a few minutes to the average angioplasty procedure.