Procedure doctors used to treat Duke of Edinburgh


What condition is the Duke of Edinburgh, pictured, being treated for?

Buckingham Palace confirmed he had undergone treatment for a blocked coronary artery.

What treatment is Prince Philip receiving?

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He has undergone an invasive procedure of coronary stenting, a type of angioplasty. This involves a procedure to unblock a coronary artery where, under local anaesthetic, a small balloon is inserted with a 2mm-diameter tube via an artery in the groin or arm and guided to the blockage.

What is a stent?

A stent is like a small metal sleeve fitted over the balloon that is to be blown up. The metallic sleeve opens up and when the balloon is deflated and withdrawn, the stent stays behind.

What does a stent do to treat a patient’s condition?

Once placed in a coronary artery, a stent opens a blockage and provides better blood flow to the heart. The idea behind a stent is to restore normal blood flow for the patient.

Why would a patient be given a stent?

The British Heart Foundation says that coronary angioplasty and stents are often used to treat coronary heart disease and severe chest pain, known as angina. The procedure can help relieve a patient’s angina symptoms and is sometimes used as an emergency treatment for heart attack victims or for those with unstable angina.

What are the risks associated with angioplasty and stent treatment?

The treatment is commonly used and the chances of recovery are generally good. Some experts say the risks increase with age.