Intravascular Brachytherapy

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Intravascular brachytherapy is used to treat restenosis — when an artery re-narrows after stenting due to scar tissue formation.
The procedure provides doctors an option to keep arteries open without placing a new stent inside an old one.

Our Approach to Intravascular Brachytherapy

Houston Methodist is one of the few hospitals in Texas offering intravascular brachytherapy, which can prevent in-stent restenosis.


The procedure often reduces the need for open heart surgery and allows for older stents placed after angioplasty or atherectomy to remain open, with the goal of delaying or avoiding open-heart bypass surgery altogether.

How Intravascular Brachytherapy Is Performed

Your doctor will perform intravascular brachytherapy in a special operating room, called a cardiac catheterization laboratory (cath lab).


During the procedure, an interventional cardiologist first will clean the blockage. Next, he or she will guide a radiation wire — which contains radioactive beads —to the affected area. A dose of beta radiation, which is only distributed to small area, is applied for several minutes. Afterward, the wire is removed.


The radiation does not have long-term effects. Your cardiologist will perform the procedure with a radiation oncologist and physicist, who monitor radiation dosing and safety.

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