When is a Coronary Angioplasty required?
The coronary arteries play one of the significant roles in the body. They are responsible for supplying blood to the heart. As people age, the coronary arteries start becoming narrow and hard which leads to various coronary heart diseases. The narrowing and hardening of the coronary artery is known as atherosclerosis. When these arteries are blocked, blood supply to the heart is blocked which further leads to intense chest pain – medically known as angina. Even though less severe cases of angina can be treated with medications, most cases do require an angioplasty to restore the complete supply of blood to the heart. Furthermore, coronary angioplasty is used as an emergency treatment option right after a heart attack. It increases the chances of survival. Angioplasty cost rarely varies as the prices of stents in India are capped.
What is a Stent and how is it Placed?
A stent is a short wire-mesh tube that acts as a scaffold to support the coronary artery. It is usually made of metal and is permanent. Angioplasty procedure involves a balloon catheter which is placed over a guide wire that puts the stent into a blocked coronary artery. Once the catheter is in place around the blocked artery, the balloon is inflated which makes the stent to expand around the artery. The balloon is then deflated and taken out while the stent remains.
A coronary angioplasty usually takes around 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on case to case. Often, a patient with angina can go home the same day or a day later; however, patients undergoing angioplasty procedure after a heart attack will need to stay at the hospital for longer till their situation stabilises.
What to Expect After a Coronary Angioplasty?
The angioplasty procedure is a standard treatment option for unblocking arteries. It dramatically improves the blood flow to the heart and helps in reducing chest pain caused due to angina. However, getting a stent does not mean the heart diseases are cured. It is essential for the patient to maintain a healthy life style in corporating habits that promote a healthier heart. All patients are required to followthe below-mentioned practices after a coronary stent angioplasty:
- Regular exercises as advised by the cardiologist
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Controlling other conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes
- Quitting smoking
- Working towards achieving a low LDL cholesterol level