Angioplasty


DESCRIPTION

Angioplasty is the medical technique of mechanically widening a narrowed or obstructed blood vessel, which has been in that condition due to atherosclerosis. This procedure is done to increase the blood flow to the heart. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which a fatty substance called plaque builds up on the inner walls of the arteries.This can happen in any artery, including the coronary arteries, which carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart.Blockage in the arteries may occur due to smoking, high cholesterol levels,diets high in saturated fats and cardiovascular disease and angioplasty is done to remove these blockages.



TYPES OF ANGIOPLASTY


Peripheral angioplasty

Peripheral Angioplasty refers to the use of a balloon to open the blood vessels outside the coronary arteries. It is commonly done to treat atherosclerotic narrowing of the abdomen, leg and renal arteries. It can also be done to teat narrowing in veins.


Coronary Angioplasty

Coronary Angioplasty is the procedure used to treat the narrowed coronary arteries of the heart found in Coronary Heart Disease. Coronary Heart Disease is the result of accumulation of atheromatous plaques within the walls of the coronary arteries that supply essential oxygen and nutrients to the muscles of the heart. 


THE PROCESS

Angioplasty, which opens narrowed arteries,is a procedure performed by cardiologists using a long, thin tube called a catheter that has a small globe (or ball) at the tip. Doctors inflate the balloon in place of the artery where the blockage exists to compress the plaque against the artery wall. Angioplasty involves local anesthesia. The balloon catheter is placed in the blocked artery and it is inflated for a few seconds.Inflation of balloon at the same site may be practiced repeatedly or it may be positioned in another site by referring the X-ray monitor. The artery may stretch and the blood flow through the artery stops when the balloon is pushing the artery open. When the surgeon deflates the balloon the normal blood flow resumes and the process is completed.

 


DURATION OF THE PROCESS

The procedure may last up to 2 to 3 hours.

 


HOSPITALIZATION PERIOD

In common cases, patients will be hospitalized for 7 to 10 days after coronary angioplasty.

 


TIME SPAN FOR RECOVERY

In most cases, medical tourists/patients can return to their home country within 7 to 10 days after the angioplasty.

 


AFTER CARE GUIDELINES

After the angioplasty patients are required to follow certain guidelines for their well being.

  • In most cases, patients stay in the hospital for one to two days after an angioplasty.
  • The patient would be given specific wound care instructions and discharge instructions for driving, activity level,medication, and any other restrictions.
  • Patient must drink plenty of fluids and avoid driving, bathing, and smoking for 1 or 2 days.
  • Should avoid standing or walking for long periods for at least 2 days after the procedure.
  • Patients should avoid physical exertion or strenuous activity for one to two weeks after the angioplasty.
  • Make routine checkups with doctor at home country.
  • Alter or bring about changes in lifestyle which may include changing your diet, quitting smoking, doing physical activity regularly, losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing stress.
  • Follow the prescribed medication regularly.

THE RISKS

  • Bleeding from the blood vessel where the catheters were inserted.
  • Blood vessel damage from the catheters.
  • Allergic reaction to anesthesia or medication.
  • Memory Loss.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • RESTONOSIS – The re-narrowing of artery if scar tissue builds up inside the arteries where the balloon had compressed the plaque deposits. In such cases, a re-surgery is advised.
  • Damage to kidneys
  • A less than 1 percent chance of Stroke.

       

The risk of complications is higher in the following category of patients:

    

     - People aged 75 and older

     - People who have kidney disease or diabetes

     - Women

     - People who have poor heart pumping function

     - People who have extensive heart disease and more than one blockage in their coronary arteries



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