Angioplasty: Understanding This Life Saving Procedure

Angioplasty: Understanding This Life Saving Procedure - Phlwin

Angioplasty is a medical procedure used to treat narrow or blocked arteries, particularly those leading in and out of the heart. During the procedure, a small balloon-tipped catheter is inserted into the artery leading to the blocked area. The balloon is inflated to widen the artery, thereby increasing blood flow. Angioplasty is often used to treat heart disease such as coronary artery disease and has been proven to greatly reduce the risks for stroke, heart attack and death.

How Does Angioplasty Work?

During an angioplasty procedure, a catheter is inserted into an artery either in the arm or the leg. It is then advanced to the site of the blockage in the artery. A special dye might be injected to check the condition of the artery and how the dye is spread. A guide wire is inserted through the catheter, which is then used to advance a balloon-tipped catheter to the site of the blockage.

The balloon is inflated to push the fatty deposits away and open up the artery. The catheter may also come with a stent, which is a small mesh-like device that helps keep the artery open. Once the procedure is completed, the catheter is removed, usually after about 20 minutes.

Risks and Benefits of Angioplasty

Risks and Benefits of Angioplasty

While angioplasty can be highly effective in treating narrow or blocked arteries, there are some risks and side effects associated with the procedure. Potential side effects may include bleeding, bruising, infection, and damage to the artery. Angioplasty may also damage the lining of the artery, leading to the formation of a blood clot.

However, the benefits of angioplasty can be significant. Angioplasty can reduce chest pain, improve exercise tolerance, and prevent heart attack. In some cases, angioplasty can also be used to treat heart failure, aortic aneurysms, and arrhythmias.

Aftercare After Angioplasty

If you have undergone an angioplasty procedure, it is important to follow your doctor’s post-procedure instructions carefully. Patients typically need to rest for a few hours after the procedure and will be monitored for any potential complications. Most patients are also required to take medications such as aspirin and clopidogrel to prevent blood clots from forming.

It is also important for patients to talk to their doctor about lifestyle changes, such as dietary changes, quitting smoking, and exercising regularly, to prevent further narrowing of the arteries. Following these instructions can help maximize the effectiveness of the angioplasty procedure and ensure the best possible outcome.

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