An angioplasty is a surgically invasive procedure to open the narrowed blood vessels and restore the supply of blood to your heart muscle. These blood vessels are mainly known as coronary arteries. Angioplasty Surgery in India, surgeons often perform angioplasty immediately after a heart attack, and takes about 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the patient’s condition. Performing an angioplasty within the first hours after a heart attack may reduce the risk of complications. The sooner you take treatment for a heart attack; the lower is the risk of getting heart failure or other complications.
How is angioplasty performed?
Cardiologists usually perform this procedure while you are under local or general anesthesia. First, they make an incision in your arm, where the catheter (a thin flexible tube) with a tiny inflatable balloon on the end into your artery is inserted. Using X-ray, video, and special dyes, the cardiologist carefully guides the catheter through the arteries into the blocked coronary artery. Then another guided wire attached with a deflated balloon through the catheter. Once it is in position, the balloon is inflated and deflated several times to remove the plaque or fatty deposits and also to widen the artery. The fatty deposits, or plaque, get pushed against the wall of the artery, thus improving the blood flow.
In some cases, the catheter is also accompanied by a stainless steel mesh called a stent. The stent is used to keep the blood vessel open. This stent remains in place after the balloon is deflated and removed. Once the balloon is removed, the cardiologist can also remove the catheter.
What are the risks?
Many surgical procedures come with a certain amount of risk. Just like many other types of invasive procedures, after undergoing this procedure, you may have an allergic reaction to the anesthetic, the dye, or some of the materials used in the angioplasty. Some risks associated with coronary angioplasty include bleeding, clotting, or bruising at the site of insertion; blood clots forming in the stent; an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia; damage to a blood vessel, heart valve, or artery; risk of stroke during the procedure, a heart attack, kidney damage, especially in people who have pre-existing kidney problems, and an infection.
Angioplasty procedure is also associated with the risk of stroke, however, the risk is low. Post-heart attack, if there is a need of performing an emergency angioplasty, then the risk is far higher than a planned angioplasty. However, angioplasty should not be considered as a complete cure as there are always chances of the arteries becoming narrow again due to plaque build-up in the artery or in a previously placed stent, called as restenosis.
After the procedure
After a heart attack, your cardiologist will explain how to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle. Always take your medications as prescribed by your cardiologist. It is better to quit smoking, as it damages the arteries and leads to impairment in blood supply to the heart. To help lower your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, it is imperative that you eat a well-balanced diet and getting exercise every day. Also, important is to maintain a healthy lifestyle to reduce your chances of having another heart attack.