Coronary angioplasty, with or without a vascular stent, is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed to unblock or widen a vein or artery, improving blood flow.
It is usually performed in an interventional radiology room instead of a traditional operating theatre.
This surgery is for patients who have tried other treatments (usually drugs) and have not found improvement and suffer from worsening chest pain.
It is also suitable for patients who have suffered a heart attack.
This procedure is performed without anaesthesia but with a conscious sedation or sedative based on relaxants to avoid pain and sudden movements and usually requires 30-90 minutes.
The procedure involves inserting a catheter through an artery in the arm or groin to the affected area. At the tip of the catheter is a balloon. The doctor will inflate it allowing the unblocking or widening of the blocked artery and then remove it. Sometimes this widening alone is not enough. Therefore, a stent is also placed at the same time. A Stent is a tiny spring that will be left in place to prevent further blockages in the area.
If the catheter is inserted in your groin, you will have to be immobile for at least 12 hours.
After the intervention, you will be transferred to the ICU where you will remain for about 12 hours. After that, you will be taken to the ward. You will stay there for 1-2 days. On the ward you will receive the necessary care to facilitate your discharge and return home
After surgery, you will experience relief from your chest pain, your blood flow will be completely restored and your breathing will be normalized.
A full recovery from coronary angioplasty is usually one (1) week.
The recovery time varies depending on your age, your physical condition and whether the treatment was due to an infarction (in which case the recovery time may be a little longer).
Minimum possibility of complications
Possible re-narrowing of the arter
Increased arterial blood flow