Angioplasty with drug coated balloon
Balloon angioplasty is the procedure in which small balloons attached to the tip of small tubes known as balloon catheters are used to remove blocks in blood vessels. When they are used to remove blocks in blood vessels supplying blood to the heart, it is known as coronary angioplasty. When they are used to remove blocks in peripheral blood vessels like that of legs, it is known as peripheral angioplasty.
One of the disadvantages of simple balloon angioplasty is that the blocks tend to reappear later. This can be reduced by implanting a spring like material known as stent after removing the block by balloon angioplasty. The stents can be bare metal stents or stents coated with medications which can reduce growth of cells into the vessel producing narrowing of vessel lumen known as drug eluting stents.
A newer innovation is using balloons coated with medications to prevent cell growth and reducing the chance of recurrence of blocks. They are known as drug coated balloons or drug eluting balloons. Studies using drug coated balloons to deliver the required medications directly to the site of blocks seem promising. They have also been tried in blocks occurring within stents after an initial angioplasty with stenting.