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A minimally invasive endovascular treatment called angioplasty, also known as balloon angioplasty and percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, is used to open up constricted or blocked arteries or veins, often as a means of treating arterial atherosclerosis.A treatment called angioplasty is used to widen or unblock the blood arteries that carry oxygen-rich blood to the heart. The coronary arteries are the name of these blood vessels. A tiny metal mesh tube called a coronary artery stent expands inside the coronary artery. A stent is frequently implanted during or right after an angioplasty.

A technique called angioplasty is used to clear clogged coronary arteries brought on by coronary artery disease. Without requiring open heart surgery, it restores the flow of blood to the heart muscle. In an emergency situation, like a heart attack, angioplasty can be performed. If your healthcare professional has a strong suspicion that you have heart problems, it can also be done as elective surgery. Another name for angioplasty is percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

A long, and very thin tube (also called a catheter) is inserted into a blood vessel and directed to the blocked coronary artery during angioplasty. At the end of the catheter, there is a very small-sized balloon. That balloon is inflated at the heart artery's constricted portion once the catheter has been inserted. By pressing the plaque or blood clot against the artery's walls, more space is created for blood flow.

During the procedure, the doctor employs fluoroscopy. An X-ray "movie"-like a special type of X-ray is called fluoroscopy. As a contrast dye travels through the arteries, it aids the physician in locating the blockages in the heart arteries. This whole procedure is known as coronary angiography.

Your doctor might determine that you require a different kind of procedure. This can entail performing an atherectomy at the location of the arterial constriction to remove the plaque. The medical professional doing the atherectomy may employ a rotating-tip catheter. The narrowed area of the artery is reached by the catheter, which breaks up or removes the plaque to widen the artery.

  • Fatty plaque accumulation in the blood arteries of the heart is treated using angioplasties. Atherosclerosis is a form of cardiac disease that this buildup represents.
  • You may be a candidate for angioplasty if: • You've tried drugs or lifestyle modifications but they didn't help your heart health.
  •  You are having a heart attack; • You have chest pain (angina) that is getting worse. A clogged artery can be swiftly opened with angioplasty, minimizing heart damage.
  • Not everyone should get an angioplasty. Your physician may decide that coronary artery bypass surgery is a better course of treatment for you than angioplasty depending on the severity of your heart disease and your general health.
  • If your heart muscle is weak, your major artery supplying blood to the left side of your heart is narrow, you have diabetes, and you have several serious artery blockages, you may require coronary artery bypass surgery.
  • During coronary artery bypass surgery, a healthy blood vessel from another region of your body is used to get around the blocked portion of your artery.

The heart requires a steady flow of blood, much like every other organ in the body. The coronary arteries provide the necessary oxygen.

These arteries may narrow and stiffen as people age (a condition known as atherosclerosis), which can result in coronary heart disease.

Angina, a type of chest pain caused by a restriction in the blood supply to the heart, is typically brought on by physical exertion or stress.

While medication is frequently useful in treating angina, in severe cases where medication is ineffective, a coronary angioplasty may be necessary to restore the blood supply to the heart.

Following a heart attack, coronary angioplasties are frequently utilized as an emergency treatment.


Your doctor will examine you physically and go over your medical history before the angioplasty is arranged. Before your procedure, you might need to have a few tests, such as a chest X-ray, an electrocardiogram, and blood work. In order to check whether the arteries leading to your heart are blocked and whether they can be opened up with angioplasty, your doctor will also do an imaging test known as coronary angiography.

If a blockage is discovered during your coronary angiography, your doctor can elect to conduct angioplasty and stenting while your heart is still catheterized right away.

Your doctor would give you instructions to help you prepare.

  • Before having an angioplasty, your doctor may advise you to change or stop taking certain medications, such as aspirin, NSAIDs, or blood thinners. Tell your doctor about all of your prescription and non-prescription medications, including herbal supplements.
  • Typically, six to eight hours prior to angiography, you must refrain from eating or drinking. The morning of your procedure, take your prescribed medications with very ittle water.
  • Gather all of your medications, including nitroglycerin if you take it, to bring to the hospital.
  • Make plans for home transportation. You won't be able to drive yourself home the following day after angioplasty because it typically necessitates an overnight hospital stay.

What you can expect

During the procedure

A cardiac catheterization laboratory is a dedicated operating room where angioplasties are carried out by a team of nurses and technicians with specialised cardiovascular training.

An artery in your groyne, arm, or wrist is used to do an angioplasty. There's no need for general anaesthesia. You'll be given a sedative to help you unwind, but depending on how well you sleep, you might be awake for the process.

  • An IV catheter will be inserted into your hand or arm, and you will receive fluids, sedatives, and blood-thinning (anticoagulant) drugs through this catheter.
  • During the procedure, your heart rate, pulse, blood pressure, and oxygen level will be measured.
  • Your doctor will apply an antiseptic solution to the area in your leg, arm, or wrist before covering your body with a sterile sheet.
  • A local anaesthetic will be used by your doctor to make the region where a very small incision will be made painless. The next step involves inserting a tiny, thin guidewire into the blood vessel.
  • Your doctor will insert a thin tube (catheter) into your artery with the aid of live X-rays.
  • After inserting the catheter, contrast dye is injected via it. As a result, angiograms, which are X-ray images that show the inside of your blood arteries, can be used by your doctor to determine the blockage.
  • At the location of the blockage, a tiny balloon, which may or may not have a stent, is inflated to widen the obstructed artery. The balloon is deflated and the catheter is removed after the artery has been stretched. If you have several obstructions, you may need to repeat the process at each one.

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