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Coronary Angioplasty - Procedure, Benefits, and Risk

An angioplasty is a surgery that is essentially done to open blood vessels that supply blood to the heart, these blood vessels are also called coronary arteries.

Coronary Angioplasty - Procedure, Benefits, and Risk

An angioplasty is a surgery that is essentially done to open blood vessels that supply blood to the heart, these blood vessels are also called coronary arteries. This is done as an emergency procedure mostly and is often performed immediately after a person suffers a heart attack. Almost 5 lakh people get coronary angioplasty done every year in India, and this figure is only going to rise according to trends. Our records also confirm a rise in the number of people getting an angioplasty in Dwarka.

An angioplasty is also known as percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or percutaneous coronary intervention.

Did you know that having an angioplasty within the first few hours after a heart attack?

reduces the risk of further complications? Timing is crucial: the sooner a person receives treatment after a heart attack, the lower the risk of heart failure, other complications, or even death. Angioplasty also relieves the symptoms of heart disease for people who haven’t had a heart attack.

How is angioplasty performed?

Patients are given local anaesthesia. First, a puncture is done in either the arm or groin after which a catheter is inserted with a small inflatable balloon at the end into the afflicted artery. With X-Ray images and special dyes, doctors navigate the catheter into the blocked coronary artery. Once in position, the balloon is inflated to widen and open out the artery. The plaque (fatty deposits) get pushed against the wall of the artery which opens the way for blood flow. In other cases, the catheter also has a stainless-steel mesh known as a stent. The stent holds the blood vessel open and it can remain in place even after the balloon is deflated and removed. Once the balloon is removed, your doctor might decide to remove the catheter. This can take half an hour to several hours depending on variable factors.

What are the benefits of angioplasty after a heart attack?

According to several studies and publications angioplasty following a heart attack does saves lives. It can get blood flowing to the heart again quickly and the sooner your blood supply is returned to normal, the less damage there will be to the heart muscle. Angioplasty also helps us to relieve chest pain and prevent shortness of breath and some other associated symptoms with a heart attack as well.

Angioplasty can help to reduce the odds of a person needing open hearts bypass surgery in the future; which requires longer recovery time. Angioplasty can reduce the risk of suffering further heart attacks and can also increase the chances of survival (more than anti blood clotting medication).

Potential risks

All medical procedures carry with them, a certain level of risk and like any other

invasive procedure, you could have an allergic reaction to the anaesthesia, dye, or something from the materials used for the angioplasty

We have some of Delhi’s best cardiologists at Aakash Healthcare, with impeccable track records and years of experience, they are also aided by the latest technology available for heart procedures. However, it is our responsibility to spell out any potential risks, no matter how negligible, for our patients.

Some risks that also come with coronary angioplasty include:

  • * Bleeding, bruising, or clotting, at the point where the catheter is inserted
  • * Scarred tissue or blood clotting in the stent
  • * Arrhythmia; irregular heartbeat
  • * Potential damage to a blood vessel, heart valve, or arteries
  • * A sudden heart attack
  • * Kidney damage, especially for people who already have kidney problems from before
  • * An infection

Don’t worry, this procedure is amongst the safest modern surgical procedures we have today, and we can assure you we perform the safest angioplasty in Dwarka, and you can rest easy with us.

Naturally, the risks of emergency angioplasty following a heart attack are higher than those of an angioplasty done under more controlled circumstances.

Remember, angioplasty is not a cure for blocked arteries. In some cases, arteries narrow down again if plaque redeposits itself again in the artery or in another stent. This is called restenosis and the risk of this happening is higher when a doctor doesn’t use a stent. Angioplasty is a painless procedure with some potential discomfort afterwards, but generally patients are able to sit up and have their meals after a few hours. You’ll be monitored all along.

After the procedure

After an angioplasty procedure, your cardiologist will tell you how to live heart friendly lifestyle. Remember to take the medications prescribed by your doctor. If you smoke, it’s a great time to quit. Having balanced diet with ample exercise can help lower your blood pressure and bringing down blood cholesterol level as well. Healthy lifestyle choices also lessen the chances of suffering another heart attack.

Dr. Ashish Agarwal
Director & Senior consultant
Cardiology

 

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