Have you been told you need an angioplasty or a stent? Are you short of breath? Chest pain?
If that’s the case you may be a candidate for a coronary angioplasty, also called a percutaneous coronary intervention. This procedure is used to unclog arteries in the heart.
The angioplasty procedure is a non-surgical method of heart surgery, where cardiac stents are inserted to reopen blocked carotid arteries that can cause a stroke and to expand narrowed arteries that supply the arms and legs with blood.
As we age, we can get plaque buildup in our arteries, including arteries around our heart. As the plaque hardens, the flow of oxygen toward the heart is disrupted. Angioplasty and stents restore the blood flow so you can continue leading a long and active life!
The procedure can take as little as 30 minutes and last up to a few hours. Sedation is used along with blood thinners. Then, a cardiac catheter is inserted through a sheath into an artery and is guided up to blood vessels around the heart. At the end of the catheter tube, a tiny balloon is then inflated to compress the plaque against the artery walls, helping to reduce the chances of a heart attack.
Another form of angioplasty will use a stent instead of a tiny balloon. This stent is a small wire mesh tube that props the artery open and prevents it from narrowing. Some stents are coated with medicine to further help keep the artery open, and others do not have medicine.
Angioplasty can be done during a heart attack, to help shortness of breath and chest pain caused by blocked arteries.
Why Have an Angioplasty?
Angioplasty is a procedure used to fight the slow buildup of fatty plaque deposits in our blood vessels. A doctor may prescribe this procedure if you’ve had a heart attack or if you have bad heart health that is not getting better through medication and an improved diet.
What is a Drug Coated Stent?
A stent is a metal tube of mesh material inserted after an angioplasty procedure is performed to keep the artery propped open. Drug-coated stents provide additional benefits by releasing a mediation that prevents scarring during the first couple of weeks after your procedure when scaring is most likely to occur. Discuss your options with your cardiologist to see what would work best for you.
Risks of Angioplasty
The main risks to an angioplasty and stent procedure are blood clots and bleeding. Blood clots can sometimes form around the stent, increasing one’s risk of a heart attack. Bleeding can occur where they inserted the catheter, although this normally ends up simply bruising, although rarely it can turn into more serious and continual bleeding that could lead to needing a blood transfusion.
After the Procedure
After the procedure, your doctor will give your information on how you can return to your daily life. This will include things such as:
- Calling the doctor if you have shortness of breath or signs of an infection
- Call 9-1-1 if you have chest pain
- Return to walking the next day and normal activity within a few days
- A list of the medicines you should take
- Checking daily for signs of redness/ swelling around the catheter insertion site to check for infection
FIND A TOP10MD INTERVENTIONAL CARDIOLOGIST NEAR YOU
There are thousands of Interventional Cardiologists to choose from; however, not all doctors are created equal. Advanced interventional cardiac procedures take the skill of an experienced of a Cardiologist specializing in intervention. That’s why we’ve selected your city’s best Interventional Cardiologists – to make the decision process easier for you and your family.
For your peace of mind, Top10MD Interventional Cardiologists’ credentials are validated yearly to verify medical licenses have no serious patient care sanctions, current Board Certifications in their given medical specialty, current DEA & DPS licenses, and malpractice insurance. A Top10MD has at least 5+ years experience or has performed 300+ procedures in their given specialty and a current Patient Satisfaction Score of 8.5 or higher.