What is angioplasty and how is it done?

When is angioplasty done?

Although many things are involved, angioplasty might be done if you: Are having a heart attack. Have frequent or severe angina that is not responding to medicine and lifestyle changes. Have evidence of severely reduced blood flow (ischemia) to an area of heart muscle caused by one or more narrowed coronary arteries.

What is angioplasty and how is it done?

Angioplasty is a procedure to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. These blood vessels are called the coronary arteries.The blocked artery is opened by inflating a tiny balloon in it. Balloon: A catheter with a small balloon tip is guided to the narrowing in your artery. To place baloon, your doctor will make a small opening in a blood vessel in your groin (upper thigh), arm, or neck. Through this opening, your doctor will thread a thin, flexible tube called a catheter. The catheter will have a deflated balloon at its tip. Once in place, the balloon is inflated to push the plaque and stretch the artery open to boost blood flow to the heart. A stent is placed around the deflated balloon. A coronary artery stent is a small, metal mesh tube that expands inside a coronary artery and it acts as a scaffold to support the inside your coronary artery. This stent is placed in an artery as part of a procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), also known as coronary angioplasty.

How long does coronary angioplasty take?

If just one section of artery is widened, the procedure usually takes about 30 minutes. If several sections are to be widened then the procedure takes longer. You may need to stay in hospital overnight for observation following the procedure.

Are you awake for an angioplasty?

Angioplasty and stenting procedures are performed in the catheterization lab (or “cath” lab) of a hospital. You will lie on a table and be mildly sedated to help you relax and take away any pain, but you will remain awake throughout the procedure.

How long do stents in the heart last?

It all depends: Stents will last forever if they are made of some sort of metal as most are. There is a new product on the market, a new heart stent that dissolves in the artery three years after being implanted.

Can artery stents move?

One concern shared by many patients is if the stent will be able to move around in the arteries once it has been inserted. In short, the answer is no. Once a stent is opened in an artery, the tissue cells of the artery wall begin to grow over the stent.

Is it possible to remove blocks in three blood vessels of heart (Triple vessel disease) by angioplasty?

Yes, it is possible. For your doctor may calculate a score called ‘SYNTAX SCORE’. Score ≤ 22 is suitable for Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA)

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dr Blessan Varghese

MD (Gen Med), DM (Cardiology) Chief Interventional Cardiologist

Dr Blessan Varghese is a renowned interventional cardiologist with an experience of 10 years with expertise in diagnostic coronary angiography both radial & femoral route, Primary Angioplasty, Complex Angioplasty, cardiac catheterization, renal angiography & Pacemaker Implantation and Device therapy for ASD, PDA, and many more interventional procedures. Currently, he serves as Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at Welcare Hospital, Kochi and is the chief of inerventional cardiology.

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dr john richardson