An angioplasty procedure is a surgical procedure that opens blood vessels that carry blood to the heart muscle. They are called coronary blood vessels. Doctors usually perform the procedure following a heart attack.
This procedure can also be known as the percutaneous transluminal coronary or percutaneous coronary intervention. In many instances, doctors will insert a coronary artery stent following an angioplasty. The Stent keeps the flow of blood and prevents the artery from narrowing once more.
An angioplasty performed within the first hour following an attack on the heart can reduce the chance of complications. It is important to know when to do it. The sooner you get the treatment you need for your heart, the lower your risk of heart failure, complications, or even death.
Angioplasty can also alleviate the signs of heart disease even if you’ve not suffered an attack on your heart.
What are the methods of an angioplasty procedure?
Doctors generally do this while you’re under local anesthesia. The first step is to make an incision through your groin or arm. They then insert a tube with a small inflatable balloon at the end of your coronary artery. Utilizing an X-ray, video, and special dyes, the physician guides the catheter into the blocked coronary artery. Once there, the balloon is inflated to expand the artery. The fatty deposits, known as plaque, are pushed up across the arterial. This opens the way to allow blood circulation.
In some instances, the catheter can also be fitted with a stainless steel mesh known as the Stent. The Stent helps keep the blood vessel open. It can remain in place until the balloon has been deflated and removed. When the balloon is removed, your physician can take out the catheter. The procedure could take from up to a half-hour or hours.
What are the advantages of angioplasty after a coronary attack?
As per the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, angioplasty for treating heart attacks can save lives. It’s a reliable method to ensure blood flow is restored to the heart faster. The faster your doctor can restore your blood supply more minimal damage is to the heart muscle. Angioplasty can also ease chest pain and could help prevent breath shortness and other signs of an attack on the heart.
The procedure can also decrease the likelihood of requiring a more invasive open-heart bypass operation that will require an extended recovery time. The National Health Service reports it notes that angioplasty can lower the likelihood of a heart attack in the future. It could also improve the chance of survival than medicines that dissolve blood clots.
What are the dangers?
Every medical procedure has the possibility of a risk. Like many surgical procedures, there is the possibility of reactions to anesthetic dye or the substances used in angioplasty. Other risks that can be that are associated with coronary angioplasty are:
- bleeding or clotting near the point of the inserting
- blood clots or scar tissue that forms within the Stent
- an irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia, also known as arrhythmia
- the heart valve, blood vessel, or an artery
- a heart attack
- kidney damage, in particular in those who have already had kidney problems
- An infection
The procedure is also linked with stroke risk; however, the risk is very low.
The risk of performing an emergency angioplasty following an incident of heart disease is more than the risks of an angioplasty procedure performed in other situations.
Angioplasty isn’t a solution for blocked arteries. In certain instances, arteries can be narrower again when plaque builds over the artery or within a stent previously placed. This is known as restenosis. The chance of getting restenosis is higher if your doctor does not use the Stent.