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Balloon Angioplasty Of Heart (Coronary Angioplasty)

Angioplasty opens narrowed arteries. Interventional Cardiologist  use a long, thin tube called a catheter having a small balloon on its tip. It is inflated by them at the blockage site in the artery to flatten or compress the plaque against the artery wall. 

Balloon angioplasty can also be used to open narrowed vessels in many other parts of your body like  the aorta (the main artery that comes from your heart), the iliac artery (in your hip), the femoral artery (in your thigh), the popliteal artery (behind your knee), and the tibial and peroneal arteries (in your lower leg), etc.

How Balloon Angioplasty is performed?

  1. It is done under general or local anaesthesia. 

  2. A needle is inserted into the femoral or radial artery.

  3. A sheath introducer opens up the artery and controls bleeding. Next, a guide catheter is pressed through the sheath introducer. 

  4. Dyes can be injected into the coronary artery to locate and study the diseased artery through x-ray.

  5. A flexible coronary guide wire is inserted into the guiding catheter and into the coronary artery.

  6. With the help of x-ray, the surgeon guides flexible coronary guide wire through the coronary artery to the blockage

  7. A hollow-tipped balloon catheter is further inserted, using flexible guide wire as a pathway to blockage site. The moment balloon reaches the catheter, it is inflated and it also expands the artery wall.

  8. Stent initially is inserted along with the balloon catheter, it expands when the balloon is inflated and is left behind in the expanded position with the removal of the balloon catheter.

What are the risks involved?

1.high blood pressure

2.bleeding

3.adverse reaction to anaesthesia

4.infection

5.recurrent aortic coarctation

After the Procedure

On discharge, you may be asked to drink plenty of fluids, avoid driving, bathing, and smoking for 1-2 days . In addition, you may require avoid standing or walking for longer periods for at least 2 days. And in case, you have received a stent, you must not  exercise vigorously for atleast a month or so. Cardiologist shall prescribe aspirin a day for the rest of life and If if there is a a stent placed, blood-thinning medicine or antiplatelet therapy for almost over a year or longer may be required.

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