Coronary angioplasty involves dilating a balloon at the site of the blockage to enlarge the passage for blood flow in the coronary arteries. Most of the time, a stent will need to be implanted as a scaffold to keep the artery open. A drug eluting stent will deliver a drug locally to the vessel wall to prevent the blockage from coming back (restenosis). Primary angioplasty is done at the time of an acute heart attack as a life-saving procedure to open an artery blocked with blood clots.
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What is Angioplasty?
Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat blockages / narrowing of blood vessels.
Why do I need Angiogram & Angioplasty?
An angiogram & angioplasty is suggested to a patient if you experience,
- Radiating pain in your chest, jaw, neck or arms
- Abnormal results of a of heart stress test, ECG
- Problems related to blood vessel
- Injury to your chest
- Problems with valves of your heart which may require surgical intervention.
Does Angioplasty hurt?
There is no significant pain except for the discomfort at the time of the needle puncturing the artery and again, at the time of removal of the sheath when pressure has to be applied at the site of puncture to prevent bleeding.
How long do you stay in hospital after Angioplasty?
Be prepared for 2 days’ hospital stay, try to arrange transportation as you are not advised to drive on the following day of the procedure.
How is life after Angioplasty?
Do follow a healthy diet and lifestyle to reduce the risk of developing block in your arteries again. It is recommended to start less intensive exercise such as walking on plain ground. Patient can gradually increase the intensity of the exercise. Regular drugs are needed lifelong including blood thinning antiplatelet drugs to prevent reblockage and blood clotting within the stents.
What is a stent in Angioplasty?
Stent is a small, metal mesh tube placed in blood vessels during angioplasty to act as a scaffold and to reduce the chances of developing blocks in the future.
How Angioplasty is performed?
A small balloon catheter is inflated at the site of the blockage in the coronary artery to remove the block and improve the blood flow to the heart.
How long does it take to complete Angioplasty procedure?
The whole process could take 1-4 hours depending on the number of blocks and potential complication.
How long does it take to recover from Angioplasty?
You will be able to return to normal life within one/two weeks, depending on the recovery.
How long will a heart stent last?
In most of the patients the stents will stay open forever, only 4-9% patients may have chance of narrowing occurring again.
It should be remembered that angioplasty/surgery, stents, etc tackle the existing blocks. Only some of the primary risk factors that caused the blockage can be treated/controlled. Hence, new blockages can occur again. A healthy diet and lifestyle with avoidance of smoking, good control of sugar/pressure/cholesterol are essential.
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