Patient Guide for Angioplasty Surgery Procedures -Treatment for Heart

AngioPlasty-The real life saver

Angioplasty is a term related to the treatment of heart. The introduction of Angioplasty in the medical field has reduced the number of deaths due to heart attacks. This truly is one of the greatest inventions but then again it remains as a myth for ordinary people.

What is Angioplasty?

Angioplasty is the removal of the blockages in the arteries of the heart. The procedure opens up the blocked heart arteries enabling the continuous flow of blood and oxygen instead of an open heart surgery. It is called percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) in the medical field, which is to treat the narrowed coronary arteries of the heart.

Animated 3D Video Demonstration of Angioplasty

Preparations and Procedure for Angioplasty

There are certain preparations necessary for the patient before he undergoes an Angioplasty.

  • He should fast for a minimum of 8 hours prior to the procedure. This should be strictly followed. Usually, the patient is requested to have an early dinner before he undergoes Angioplasty the next morning. However he can continue with his other medications as usual after consulting with his cardiologist.
  • Blood tests, X-ray, ECG are required before the procedure to determine if the patient’s health is suitable for undergoing Angioplasty.The procedure is done in a special room fitted with X-Ray.
  • The patient is not given Anastasia but only a sedative as the Doctor explains step by step the procedure to his patient. Also the patient may be asked to cough (to move the dye out of his coronary artery) or to hold his breath for three to five seconds (to prevent the blurring of the X-ray pictures).

During the entire procedure, the patient needs to inform the Doctor if he is experiencing

  • Chest or back pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe headache
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in his vision

Angioplasty  Cartoon
Angioplasty Cartoon

Animation: Coronary Artery Angioplasty (Heart Stent)

How is Angioplasty Surgery done?

Firstly, the Doctor will choose an artery into which a lead wire is made to enter; most common choice is the artery in the leg area. A catheter is inserted over the wire. A catheter is a small tube that can be inserted into a blood vessel and is capable of injecting fluids.

The catheter advances to the heart and to the coronary arteries. The catheter’s movements are monitored on the X-ray screen. Once it reaches the coronary arteries, a special dye containing Iodine is injected into them. This dye helps the doctor in tracking the blockages.

If the doctor tracks blockages, he will prepare for the balloon angioplasty.

The catheter is a balloon tipped catheter that is slowly inflated when the doctor detects a block in the artery. The inflation will result in the block to be squeezed out, resulting in the regular blood flow. Once the normal blood flow is restored, the balloon catheter and the guide wire are removed.

Even after Balloon Angioplasty is done, there are chances of the arteries to become narrow and blocked again. This is prevented to some extend by using stent, a metal mesh tube made of Cobalt, steel and Chromium.


Medical Animation - Stent Procedure how a stent is used

Inserting the stent

The metallic stent, attached to the balloon catheter is inserted into the blood vessel to reach the coronary artery. When a block is detected in the artery, the balloon is inflated causing the stent to expand. This opens up the blocked artery, improving the blood flow. The stent remains permanently in the artery and within weeks of its insertion, tissue grows over it.

Angioplasty takes one hour to three hours, varying from person to person. 

Advantages of using a stent

Stents reduces the re-narrowing of the arteries than a balloon angioplasty or other procedures. It also restores blood flow and keeps the arteries open even if they have been torn by the balloon angioplasty.

New types of stents which are coated with drugs, called drug eluding stents are commonly used. These drugs are slowly released to the blood stream and prevent the closure of the arteries.

Risks during Angioplasty

  • People aged 70 and above
  • People having kidney disease or diabetes
  • Women
  • People with poor pumping function in their hearts
  • People with extensive blockages
  • angioplasty patient radiation risk

Care after Angioplasty

The patient is moved to IC unit after Angioplasty. Here they are monitored for 24 to 48 hours. His blood pressure and heart beats are constantly checked. Also, his blood samples are regularly tested to monitor clotting. He can start consuming food half an hour after Angioplasty. After the fourth day, he can start resuming his office work.

Researching for more details in Angioplasty Versus Coronary Bypass Surgery


Balloon Angioplasty : Demo Using Balloons

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