Treatment Options
for Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)


There are several treatment options for CAD

Current treatments range from drug therapy to surgical interventions to help restore the flow of oxygen to the heart.

The aim of these therapies is to dilate the coronary vessels and increase blood supply to the heart. Doctors should decide which treatment option is best for patients.

Current procedures used to treat CAD include stenting, balloon angioplasty and bypass surgery.

Coronary Bypass Surgery

During coronary artery bypass surgery, the cardiac surgeon makes an incision in the patient's chest and surgically bypasses the clogged artery with a healthy blood vessel taken from the patient's chest or leg. 

The aim of coronary bypass surgery is to re-establish adequate blood flow to the heart. This technique requires general anesthesia and a long stay in the hospital.

Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA)

PTCA, sometimes referred to as balloon angioplasty, is a non-surgical procedure used to treat CAD. During PTCA, a catheter containing a small balloon is inserted into arteries around the heart. 

The balloon is inflated, enlarging the inner diameter of the artery and increasing the blood flow. The balloon is then deflated and the catheter is removed. In this procedure, there is no big incision or need for general anesthesia, so the hospital stay is shorter when compared to bypass surgery.


In the 1980s, PTCA was taken one step further with the use of stents. These small, expandable, tubular metal mesh scaffolds are implanted in the artery to help prevent the narrowing of the arteries that can occur following PTCA. 

In stenting, after widening the artery by angioplasty, a new catheter with a stent mounted over a balloon is positioned inside the widened artery. The balloon is then inflated, causing the stent to expand. When the balloon is deflated and withdrawn, the stent remains in place, serving as a permanent support for the artery.

After it is placed in a blood vessel, new tissue grows inside the stent. This is part of the healing process. Sometimes during this process, scar tissue may form underneath the new healthy lining and obstruct blood flow, causing blockages. This is known as “in-stent restenosis”.

Next-generation stent technology is now available with stents that have a unique drug coating to prevent in-stent restenosis.

Stenting offers the following benefits:

  • Shorter stay in hospital (as short as 1 day)
  • No big incision, as access is through arteries (femoral or radial)
  • No general anaesthesia


CAUTION: Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for consultation with healthcare professionals. A doctor should always be consulted about diagnosis and treatment information.