Also known as: Intravascular Lithotripsy (IVL), Shockwave IVL, Shockwave
Duration: About 45 minutes to an hour
Intravascular lithotripsy is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to treat coronary artery disease (CAD) (or peripheral arterial disease (PAD)) by passing a series of sonic pressure waves/shock waves through clogged arteries in order to improve blood flow under the guidance of x-ray imaging.
In coronary intravascular lithotripsy, the shock waves are passed through the coronary arteries of the heart.
- To treat coronary artery disease (CAD)
- To treat peripheral artery disease (PAD)
Preparing for the procedure:
How it is performed:
- Firstly, a cardiac catheterization is performed to check for any blocks in the coronary arteries of the heart. A catheter (a thin, long tube) is placed in either your arms, legs, or groin and is monitored by an x-ray camera until it reaches the targeted artery.
- A contrast dye is then infused so that the arteries can be seen.
- Once the waves are passed, tiny fractures are created in the plaque (calcium and fat build-up) that is surrounding the artery walls.
- The plaque is broken into small pieces and a stent is usually placed in the artery to improve blood flow.
After the procedure: