Brachytherapy prevents scar tissue from renarrowing heart blood vessels. Patients often face a persistent risk of renarrowing after a stent. Brachytherapy gives doctors an option to keep arteries open other than putting a new stent inside an old stent. Once a physician has treated a blood vessel with balloon angioplasty or atherectomy, he or she will choose to perform brachytherapy, with the goal of delaying or avoiding bypass surgery altogether. Under the guidance of Alpesh Shah, MD, an interventional cardiologist, Houston Methodist Hospital has the only program in Texas offering this procedure.

Brachytherapy Procedure
An interventional cardiologist first will clean the blockage and then advance a radiation wire, which contains radioactive beads, into the affected area. A dose of beta radiation, which only is distributed to small area, is applied for several minutes. Afterward, the wire is removed.

The radiation does not have long-term effects on patients. The procedure is performed with a radiation oncologist and physicist, who monitor radiation dosing and safety.

The radiation prevents the return of scar tissue, which often reduces need for open heart surgery and allows for older stents to remain open.


Our physicians at Houston Methodist specialize in brachytherapy at our convenient treatment locations: