Tags: coronary | angioplasty | procedure | heart | artery

Coronary Angioplasty Procedure Explained

Tuesday, 08 April 2014 11:41 PM

Coronary angioplasty is a procedure for treating coronary heart disease and angina. In this procedure, the blocked or narrowed coronary artery caused due to coronary artery disease is opened. The procedure widens the artery and may include inserting a stent, a small tube to prevent the artery from narrowing again. This improves blood supply to the heart. Coronary angioplasty provides relief from symptoms associated with angina. It is the emergency treatment used for patients of a heart attack. The procedure of angioplasty may vary from 30 minutes to two hours or more.
Though patients undergoing emergency angioplasty have a long hospital stay following the procedure, most patients can go home after overnight observation following a coronary angioplasty procedure and resume normal activities within a week. Blood flow through the artery improves in most cases of coronary angioplasty. Most patients find relief from symptoms after a coronary angioplasty procedure. In rare cases, the artery may again narrow, leading to a return of angina, though such chances are low. A coronary artery bypass graft is an alternative procedure used if multiple coronary arteries are blocked.
Procedure of Coronary Angioplasty
The procedure of a coronary angioplasty is as follows:
  1. A local anesthetic is administered to the patient before the procedure begins.
  2. A catheter is passed into the artery through the groin or arm. The catheter is a fine, hollow and flexible tube containing a tiny inflatable balloon.
  3. A dye is injected into the catheter so that the artery becomes visible on an X-ray screen. Some patients report feeling a hot or flushed sensation when the dye is injected.
  4. An operator guides the catheter up to the heart and into the coronary artery to the narrowed or blocked section.
  5. Here, the balloon is inflated gently to widen the artery and enable the blood to flow easily.
  6. In case a stent is to be positioned, the balloon is used to expand the artery. The stent is a small tube made of stainless steel mesh. It is left in place to enable blood to flow more easily.
  7. The stent remains in place while the balloon is deflated, before extracting the catheter from the body. 
A patient must inform the operating team about any pain, palpitation, or angina during the procedure. When the procedure is over, the catheter is removed. After the procedure is complete, the patient may be advised a period of rest. A little bleeding may occur after the procedure, which the doctor can control. Some patients experience chest discomfort during the first few hours following this procedure. Consult your doctor about any such occurrence.

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Coronary angioplasty is a procedure used to open a blocked or narrowed coronary artery. It is useful for the treatment of angina and coronary heart disease. Following the procedure, most patients can go home after overnight observation, though emergency angioplasty may require a longer stay.
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 11:41 PM
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