Angioplasty: Types, Procedure, Risks, and Recovery
What Is Angioplasty?
"Angioplasty" is a term that comes from the words "angi" (blood vessel) and "plasty" (opening). Angioplasty is a surgical procedure used to open a blocked or narrowed artery near the heart. It is a standard treatment for clogged or narrowed arteries.
The term angioplasty is frequently used interchangeably with percutaneous coronary intervention or PCI. During an angioplasty procedure, a healthcare provider uses a tiny balloon to push plaque against the artery walls, allowing blood to flow freely through your artery. To keep the newly opened space open, they frequently place a stent or tube inside.
Types Of Angioplasty
Angioplasty can be classified into two major categories: -
- Balloon angioplasty is a treatment that uses the pressure created by an expanding balloon to remove plaque from an artery. It is the only option when a stent cannot be placed in the desired location.
- Stent placement involves inserting a tube, or stent, made of wire mesh into the artery. After an angioplasty procedure, stents can be used to prevent the artery from narrowing again.
What Does Angioplasty Treat?
Angioplasty is a valuable procedure to treat atherosclerosis (a buildup of plaque consisting of fat and cholesterol) in various parts of your body's arteries.
- Coronary artery disease: A narrow or clogged coronary artery can prevent your heart from receiving the oxygen it needs, resulting in chest pain and/or a heart attack, angioplasty, or percutaneous coronary intervention, is beneficial for a healthy heart.
- Peripheral artery disease: Angioplasty is a procedure used to treat atherosclerosis in the major arteries of the arms, legs, and pelvis.
- Carotid artery disease: A clogged artery in your neck can be treated by angioplasty. If left untreated, they can progress to the point where your brain does not receive enough oxygen to function correctly.
- Chronic kidney disease: Plaque buildup in the arteries affects the amount of oxygen that can reach your kidneys. In some cases, angioplasty of the renal artery may be necessary to alleviate the problem.
Before beginning angioplasty, a healthcare practitioner will clean and numb where the catheter will be inserted into the body, which is generally the groyne but can also be the wrist in some cases.
In the next step, a doctor places a catheter in the artery and directs it toward the coronary artery, using x-rays as a guide. Once the catheter is in place, the doctor injects a contrast dye into the artery to help find heart blockages. The doctor inserts another catheter and a guidewire after a thorough examination, typically with a balloon at its tip.
Next, the doctor inflates the balloon, which pushes the plaque build-up away and opens the artery. A stent may be used to maintain the artery open.
Angioplasty can take several hours depending on the difficulty, several blockages, and complications.
Who Needs To Have Angioplasty?
Angioplasties are performed on patients with coronary artery disease or a heart attack. Angioplasty is also served in the neck, arms, legs, kidneys, and pelvis to open blocked arteries. Angioplasty widens a plaque-clogged artery that improves blood flow to the organ served by the artery.
How To Prepare for Angioplasty?
Angioplasties are considered to be low-risk surgical procedures, nonetheless. Patients must adhere to their doctor's pre-operative instructions to ensure a positive outcome and tell their doctor about any medications and supplements.
Before undergoing surgery, individuals may need to discontinue taking these medications, particularly blood thinners. Also, patients may need to fast for several hours before the surgery as doctors may need to sedate them. Additionally, before surgery, kidney tests may be necessary, as the contrast dye used by the surgeons can affect kidney function.
Angioplasty Success Rate
The angioplasty treatment has an extremely high success rate. More than 90 per cent of patients have successful angioplasty, which means that the procedure properly opens clogged blood veins around the heart. Approximately 30 to 40% of such patients experience re-narrowing of the blood artery at the point of balloon inflation.
Risks or Complications of Angioplasty
Although serious angioplasty problems are rare, all invasive procedures include some risks. For example, an angioplasty may require an emergency coronary artery bypass transplant. Complications occur in around one out of every 100 procedures, though this number may vary. Other risks associated with angioplasty include: -
- A dye reaction
- Coronary artery disease
- An abnormal heartbeat
- Damage to the blood vessels of the kidney
- Blood clot
- Chest discomfort
- A re-blockage if no stent is implanted.
Angioplasty Risk Age
The risk of angioplasty problems is significant in patients over the age of 60 and in people who have numerous blocked arteries, kidney disease, or heart failure, among other factors.
Angioplasty Cost in India
A standard Angioplasty procedure in India may cost between Rs 1.2 lakh and Rs 3.0 lakh (approx). However, pricing may range depending on various factors, including the hospital amenities, the experience of the doctors, the quality and type of medicated stent used, and a variety of other factors.
Recovery After Angioplasty
After the angioplasty cardiologist removes the catheters and bandages, catheters can cause pain, bruising, and even bleeding when inserted into the body.
Usually, a person recovers in the hospital for a few hours or overnight. Due to sedative drugs in their system, individuals should not be allowed to drive. Additionally, the patient will be restricted from lifting for around a week afterwards.
Most people can return to work in a week, although their doctor will prescribe their activity level. The post-angioplasty visit is an integral part of the treatment. The doctor will assess the patient's progress, modify medications as needed, and build an ongoing cardiovascular health plan.
Are There Any Side Effects of Angioplasty?
Some angioplasty complications include injury to the heart arteries, infection, bleeding or bruising at the catheter site, allergic response to the dye or contrast, kidney damage, blood clots leading to stroke or heart attack, and abdominal bleeding (retroperitoneal bleeding).
To maintain a healthy heart post angioplasty, you should: -
- Make sure you have the correct medications
- Understand wound care and cleanliness
- Maintain regular doctor visits
- Do only light activities in the first few weeks after discharge
- Make an effort to eat a more balanced, nutritious diet
- Quit smoking and drinking
- Participate in cardiac rehab
Diet After Angioplasty
As you recover from angioplasty, consider adding these foods to your daily meal plans:-
- Fruits & Vegetables
- Healthy Oils
- Whole grains
- Sprouts or legumes
- Freshly brewed tea
- Dark chocolate
Exercise After Angioplasty
The most effective way to maintain healthy heart health is exercise. Here's what you need to know to create an exercise routine during coronary angioplasty and beyond recovery.
- Aerobic exercise
- Aim for 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week
- Brisk walking
Balloon Vs. Stent Angioplasty
Balloon angioplasty is a minimally invasive cardiac catheterization procedure that opens narrow and blocked arteries with a long, thin plastic tube with a tiny balloon at its tip.
On the other hand, heart stents are tiny lattice-shaped metal mesh tubes that serve as scaffolding to keep the artery open by inserting a short wire-mesh tube, called a stent, into the artery during the procedure.
Difference Between Angiography and Angioplasty
Angiography or Coronary Angiogram is a process where X-rays are used to examine blood vessels to check for any potential heart conditions.
Angioplasty is a Minimal Invasive procedure in which narrow arteries are made wide to treat the heart conditions through the Radial or Femoral artery.
Angioplasty Related: FAQs
Are you or a loved one curious about heart health? Whether you have general inquiries about heart health or specific questions about Cardiology Services, the FAQ will assist you in locating the information you seek.
Here is a list of frequently asked questions about cardiology:
Q1. How Much Rest is Required After Angioplasty?
The average recuperation period following angioplasty is about two weeks. However, this can vary depending on your specific condition and the procedure performed.
Q2. How to Maintain a Healthy Life After Angioplasty?
A person can live a healthy life after angioplasty by simply controlling CAD risk factors and being fit. Lifestyle changes and medications help maintain a good quality of life.
Q3. Is Angioplasty Safe?
Angioplasty is generally safe and effective but does not come without complications. As with every surgical procedure, coronary angioplasty has its share of risks. However, there is a very low chance of significant complications.
Q4. How To Sleep After Angioplasty?
The recommended sleeping position for the first few weeks after the surgery is upright while the chest bone heals. You can sleep in a recliner or a foldable bed as they are pretty comfortable. Use a neck pillow to support your neck and spine.
Q5. Is Angioplasty Painful?
During angioplasty, you might feel pressure in the catheter's area. Also, you probably experience mild discomfort while the balloon inflates and the artery is stretched. Still, typically you shouldn't feel any sharp pain during the procedure.
Q6. How Long Medications Will Continue After Angioplasty?
Most people need to take blood-thinning medications for up to 1 year after having an angioplasty.
Q7. Is Angioplasty Considered A Heart Surgery?
Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure, but it is still surgery, and people must follow their doctor's instructions carefully beforehand.
Q8. How Long After Angioplasty Can I Exercise?
One month after a stenting treatment, one can anticipate returning to pre-disease exercise levels. Heavy exercise such as lifting weights or walking up steep slopes should be avoided for about 4-6 weeks.
Q9. How To Know If You Need Angioplasty?
A person who has chest pain (angina) that is worsening. In addition, arm or leg pain, skin changes and swelling in the lower extremities, fatigue, stroke, and atherosclerosis are indications that you may need angioplasty.
Q10. How Many Days To Stay In Hospital After Angioplasty?
Angioplasty and stenting have a quick recovery time. In most cases, patients are released from the hospital within 12 to 24 hours of having their catheters removed. Following surgery, many patients are able to return to their jobs within a few days or weeks.
Angioplasty can improve blood flow through a clogged artery by removing the plaque that has built up there over time. Even though the procedure went well, it's still essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle consists of a balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding tobacco consumption. Always follow your doctor's instructions by taking the prescribed medication and attending your follow-up appointments.
Are you looking for an angioplasty appointment? Don't worry; we at DPU Hospital got you covered! No matter what is going on with your heart, we offer comprehensive treatments to help you feel your best.
Just call at 020 6711 6499 to schedule an appointment with our expert cardiologists and take the first step toward heart-healthy life!