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Vascular Brachytherapy
Vascular brachytherapy (or VBT) is a relatively new technique used to help prevent restenosis of diseased arteries after balloon angioplasty. Although most of the research in the field has concentrated on restenosis of native conorary arteries after angioplasty with stent placemnt, VBT may be beneficial in treating vascular disease in a number of other settings.

Florida Oncology Network, together with the cardiologists at Florida Heart Institute are proud to be leaders in the field:
  • 1st use of Cordis CheckmateŽ system in Florida
  • Participant in the Cordis Gamma V trial
  • Participant in the Guidant Limit trial
  • Participant in the Nucletron PARIS trial
  • Among the largest volume VBT centers in the U.S.

    Frequently Asked Questions:
  • What is Coronary Artery Disease?
  • How is Coronary Artery Disease treated?
  • What is Angioplasty?
  • What is a Stent?
  • Why should treatment with VBT be considered?
  • How is VBT performed?

    Links:
  • Guidant GalileoTM Intravascular Radiotherapy System
  • Novoste BetaCath System
  • Cardiovascular Radiation Therapy
  • Florida Heart Institute




    1. WHAT IS CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE?
    Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a blockage or narrowing inside the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. These blockages can cause angina (pressure, tightness or pain in the chest, arm or jaw) and may lead to a heart attack.

    2. HOW IS CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE TREATED?
    Once diagnosed with CAD, there are several treatment options available. Your doctor may recommend medication, a procedure in the cardiac catheterization laboratory, or by-pass surgery.

    3. WHAT IS ANGIOPLASTY?
    Angioplasty involves the inflation of a balloon catheter in the narrowed area of your coronary artery. The balloon compresses the plaque (fatty material causing the blockage) against the wall of the artery. This procedure should enlarge the opening inside the artery and allow improved blood flow. Angioplasty causes a small injury inside the artery that will heal within a few weeks.

    4. WHAT IS A STENT?
    Immediately following angioplasty, your doctor may decide that a stent is needed to help keep your artery open. A stent is a tiny mesh tube made of metal that acts as a support inside your artery. The stent is put on an angioplasty balloon and delivered to the angioplasty area. The balloon is inflated, causing the stent to expand or open. The balloon is then deflated and removed. The expanded stent remains in the artery. Over the next few weeks healing occurs and the metal stent is covered by normal tissue.

    5. WHY SHOULD VBT BE CONSIDERED?
    Within months following angioplasty, approximately 30-50% of patients have re-narrowing of their coronary artery and need further treatment. About 15-25% of patients who have stents placed subsequently require repeat angioplasty because of restenosis at the stent site. Currently, there are no proven solutions for the problem of restenosis. Treatment with VBT may reduce the likelihood of yet another restenosis occurring, and thus reduce the need for future angioplasty procedures or by-pass surgery.

    6. HOW IS VBT PERFORMED?
    You will be taken to the cardiac catheterization laboratory and prepared for your preliminary heart catheterization. An angioplasty procedure will be performed, opening the blockage within the coronary artery. The angioplasty catheter is then removed and the VBT catheter positioned to the previously blocked area. Once the catheter is in place, the radiation source will be delivered to the treatment site and remains in place for the prescribed time. When the treatment is completed, the radiation sources and catheter are removed. No radiation remains in the body. Your doctor will then take x-rays to determine if additional treatment is required.





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