Angioplasty (Coronary Angioplasty)

Angioplasty procedure is used to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels (coronary arteries) that supply blood to the heart.

A coronary artery stent is a small, metal mesh tube that expands inside a coronary artery and it is often placed during or immediately after angioplasty. A drug-eluting stent, used for few patients has medicine embedded in it to prevent the artery from closing in the long term. 

Not every blockage can be treated with angioplasty. Some patients with  several blockages may require coronary bypass surgery.

How is it Done?

-you will receive some pain medicine along with blood thinning medicines to prevent blood clotting 

-on an operating table, doctor will insert a flexible tube called catheter through a surgical cut into an artery. Sometimes the catheter may be placed in your arm or wrist, or in your upper leg or groin area. You might be wide awake during the procedure.

-the doctor will use live x-ray pictures to carefully guide the catheter up into your heart and arteries. Dye will be injected into your body to highlight blood flow through the arteries. This helps the doctor see any blockages in the blood vessels that lead to your heart.

-a guide wire is moved into and across the blockage while a balloon catheter is pushed over the guidewire and into the blockage. The balloon on the end is blown up (inflated) and opens the blocked vessel and restores proper blood flow to the heart.

-a stent may then be placed in this blocked area. 

Angioplasty may be used to Treat following Medical Conditions: 

  • blockage in a coronary artery during or after a cardiac attack

  • blockage or narrowing of one or more coronary arteries that exposes you to risk of a heart attack

  • narrowings that reduce blood flow and cause angina (persistent chest pain) that medicines are unable to control


  • allergic reaction to the drug used in a drug-eluting stent, the stent material itself, or the x-ray dye

  • bleeding or clotting in the area of catheter insertion

  • In-stent restenosis (clogging of the inside of the stent)

  • damage to a heart valve or blood vessel

  • heart attack

  • kidney failure ( people who already have kidney problems are more prone)

  • irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias)

  • stroke (rare but possible)

Before the Procedure

Angioplasty is often performed when you go to the hospital or emergency room for chest pain, or after a heart attack. Before  angioplasty:

  • inform your doctor the drugs you are taking, including over the counter medications

  • usually you’ll be asked not to drink or eat anything for 6 - 8 hours before the procedure

  • take the drugs your doctor prescribed with a small sip of water

  • share with  your doctor if you are allergic to  any foods, taking Viagra, or might be pregnant

After the Procedure

The average hospital stay is 2 days or less. Some people may not be admitted to the hospital even for one day.

Generally, people who have undergone angioplasty are able to walk around within 6 hours after the procedure while complete recovery might take a week or less. You will be given handy information about how to care for yourself after angioplasty by your Doctor.

Alternative Names

PCI - Percutaneous coronary intervention; Balloon angioplasty; Coronary angioplasty; Coronary artery angioplasty; Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty; Heart artery dilatation.

Share Article

Download The App

Back to Top
error: Content is protected !!