Complex Angioplasty

What causes coronary angioplasty?

This is usually caused by a blockage in an artery supplying blood to the heart itself. Coronary angioplasty is used to widen the artery surrounding the blockage. This helps blood flow back to the affected area and reduces the damage to the heart.

What is the risk of angioplasty?

Some other risks associated with coronary angioplasty include: bleeding, clotting, or bruising at the point of insertion. scar tissue or blood clots forming in the stent. an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia

How long does a balloon angioplasty procedure take?

The procedure usually takes about 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours, and most patients will spend the night in the hospital. You may feel a little sleepy until the sedative has worn off. Nurses will watch you during the night to see that your heart rate and blood pressure are normal.

Why are you awake during angioplasty?

You will receive a sedative medication in your IV before the procedure to help you relax. However, you will likely remain awake during the procedure. Once the local anesthetic has taken effect, a sheath, or introducer, will be inserted into the blood vessel.

Coronary Angioplasty: Treatment for Heart Disease

Treatment of heart attack is one of the great success stories in modern medicine. A patient who suffered a heart attack in the 1950s was typically treated with weeks of bed rest, and survival rates were low. Now, approximately 96 of every 100 heart attack patients who receive treatment not only survive, but are usually released from the hospital and back to work within a week.

A number of innovations have made this dramatic progress possible. Angioplasty, a procedure for quickly restoring blood flow to the heart muscle, is one of these key innovations, and it is the best treatment for stopping a heart attack that is in progress.

You may have experienced a heart attack and want to know more about the angioplasty procedure that was used to treat you. Or you may be discussing heart disease symptom relief with your doctor and wondering if angioplasty is the treatment that will work best for you.

Read on to learn how angioplasty works and what to expect after the procedure.

What Are the Benefits and Risks of Angioplasty?

Angioplasty for heart attack treatment saves lives. The procedure quickly stops a heart attack and restores blood flow to the heart. For patients who do not require bypass surgery, angioplasty offers a shorter recovery time. While bypass surgery patients can expect to spend several days in the hospital and at least a month recovering at home, most angioplasty patients are discharged from the hospital within 24 hours and return to work within a week.

Angioplasty is not just for heart attacks. For patients with severe heart disease, angioplasty can offer effective, immediate improvement of debilitating symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue. In a survey released in 2012 by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (the medical society hosting SecondsCount), heart disease patients overwhelmingly reported positive changes in many aspects of daily living: physical activity, socializing, sex life, participation in hobbies, ability to do chores and run errands, feelings of financial security, and relationships with loved ones.

Like all procedures, angioplasty carries risks. Bleeding, heart attack, stroke, or an allergic reaction to the dye may occur, or the procedure could need to be stopped and bypass surgery performed. The risk of complication is under 1 percent for most patients. Be sure to discuss the benefits and risks of angioplasty with your interventional cardiologist.

What Happens After Angioplasty?

Angioplasty can save your life during a heart attack, or it can ease or stop symptoms of heart disease. But, like all other treatments for heart disease, angioplasty cannot cure the disease. Why? Because heart disease is a progressive condition that involves the build-up of a waxy substance called plaque throughout blood vessels in the body. The angioplasty balloon opens the most severely blocked segments of the heart arteries; however, people with severe blockages typically have many other plaques that have begun to develop, but are not tight enough to restrict blood flow. But without medication and lifestyle changes, the plaques will continue to grow.

Heart disease treatment after an angioplasty procedure will aim to slow or reduce the disease process throughout the body’s blood vessels. Treatment often consists of a structured exercise program at your hospital, medications, improved diet, exercise at home, and close follow-up with your primary care physician, cardiologist, and interventional cardiologist.

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