The angioplasty is a process where surgically a thin tube is inserted through a blood vessel either in the arm or groin. At the other end, the tube carry a tiny balloon. The surgeon inflates the balloon in order to widen the artery and enables restoration of the blood flow. The angioplasty procedure may either be done to reduce chest pain or to reduce the heart muscle damage due to a heart attack.
One day prior to the procedure the patient will have to undergo a routine blood test and an electrocardiogram.
Patient has to be nil orally minimum 12-14 hours before the procedure.
Doctor should be informed in case of patient is taking any kind of medications, blood thinners, diuretics or have any kind of allergy for eg x-ray dye, iodine, penicillin etc.
The patient remains conscious throughout the procedure, but given sedatives to relax.
First stage is a cardiac catheterization, where a patient is provided with a local anaesthetic in the catheter to help the patient relax.
The next process includes the insertion of the sheath into an artery (usually through the patient’s groin, but at times through the arm). Then, the catheter is passed through the sheath and guided towards the arteries surrounding the heart.
A contrast material is injected through the catheter and is monitored with the help of an X-ray which moves through the heart's chambers, valves, and major vessels. This helps the doctors to determine the blockage.
In case going ahead with the angioplasty, the doctor will move the catheter into the artery with a blockage and then perform one of the procedures, i.e. either balloon angioplasty, stent, rotablation, atherectomy, and cutting balloon.
The duration of the procedure may vary between 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes.
The patient might be asked to stay in the hospital overnight for observation and the recovery might take several hours.
Post procedure the patient must lay flat for about six hours to prevent bleeding. In some cases patient might be required to stay overnight at the hospital.
In order to prevent nausea, the patients are requested to consume only clear liquids until the groin sheath is removed.
Once the patient is allowed to eat, patient is advised to follow a heart-healthy diet.
The patient is advised to take proper rest and avoid strenuous activities like climbing of stairs etc.
Proper medication and recovery process to be followed as instructed.
Post procedure some patients might experience fever, chest pain, a swelling, pain in the groin or leg which needs to be reported immediately.
In case of bleeding from the groin area patient needs to lie down immediately and call for medical assistance.