Coronary Angioplasty: Artery-Widening Medical Procedure


Angioplasty, also known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), is a minimally invasive, lifesaving procedure used to treat narrowed or blocked coronary arteries. This treatment is carried out for patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), a condition characterized by the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries due to the buildup of plaque (fatty deposits, cholesterol, and other substances), leading to reduced blood flow to the heart.  

Angioplasty in Cuba is primarily performed to remove plaque buildups from coronary arteries to: 

  • Relieve symptoms such as chest pain (angina) and shortness of breath (dyspnea). 
  • Reduce heart damage during a heart attack by restoring blood flow quickly, angioplasty can minimize damage to the heart muscle. 
  • Improve quality of life by significantly enhancing a patient’s ability to engage in physical activities without pain. 

Benefits of Angioplasty  

  • Minimally Invasive: In comparison to open-heart surgery, angioplasty is less invasive requiring only a small incision, leading to shorter hospital stays, faster recovery times, and less pain for patients.  Additionally, angioplasty reduces the risk of heart attacks by addressing blockages before they cause severe damage, thereby improving overall heart function and enhancing the patient’s quality of life.  
  • Symptom Relief: Many patients experience immediate relief from angina.  
  • Improved Heart Function: Enhanced blood flow can improve overall heart function and reduce the risk of heart failure. 

The Procedure 

During an angioplasty, a tiny balloon catheter is used to widen or unblock the heart’s coronary arteries. The implantation of a stent, a tiny wire mesh tube that helps maintain the artery open, is frequently done in conjunction with the treatment. 

Before the Procedure 
  • Consultation and Testing: To determine the extent of artery blockages, patients usually have a battery of tests performed, such as coronary angiography, stress testing, and electrocardiograms (ECGs).  
  • Preparation: Patients are advised to fast and may be prescribed medication to aid in relaxation  


During the Procedure 
  • Anesthesia: Local anesthesia is administered to numb the insertion site, usually in the groin or wrist.  
  • Insertion: A catheter with a deflated balloon is inserted into the artery and guided to the blockage site. 
  • Inflation: In order to reestablish blood flow, the balloon is inflated, forcing the plaque up against the arterial walls. 
  • Stent Placement: A stent, which is a small wire mesh tube, is often placed to keep the coronary arteries open and to ensure uninterrupted blood flow.  The stent acts as a scaffold, preventing the artery from narrowing again and reducing the risk of future blockages.  


After the Procedure 
  • Recovery: Patients typically stay in the hospital for a minimum of five days for monitoring. 
  • Medications: Blood-thinning medications are prescribed to prevent clot formation around the stent. 
  • Lifestyle Changes: Patients are encouraged to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle, including diet, exercise, and smoking cessation. 



  • Electronic patient bed
  • Equipment for disabled patient
  • Oxygen hookup
  • Three à la carte meals taking into account the patient’s preferences and / or special diets prescribed by physician
  • Fully equipped private bathroom
  • Infirmary and nursing care
  • Colour TV with national and international channels
  • Local and international phone services (extra cost will apply)
  • Safe box
  • Internet service on every floor
  • Laundry services


  • Assistance in visa issuance and extension (If needs be)
  • Each patient/ companion will be assigned a multi-lingual field member with the mandate of attending to all of our patients’ translation and personal needs;
  • 20 hours internet service;
  • Local airport pickup and drop off; and
  • Hospital pickup and drop off (if needed)

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