Coronary Angioplasty

A coronary angioplasty is a procedure to open an artery in the heart that has become narrowed. This allows better blood flow through the artery and to the heart muscle. It is often done with a balloon that is passed through a special catheter (tube).

  • Call Your Doctor

    After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
    • Your arm or leg becomes painful, blue, cold, numb, tingly, swollen, or increasingly bruised
    • Nausea and/or vomiting
    • Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
    • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
    • Joint pain, fatigue, stiffness, rash, or other new symptoms

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    A coronary angioplasty is a procedure to open an artery in the heart that has become narrowed. This allows better blood flow through the artery and to the heart muscle. It is often done with a balloon that is passed through a special catheter (tube).

    Balloon Angioplasty
    IMAGE
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect


    Sometimes the procedure is not successful or the artery narrows again. You may require repeat angioplasty or
    coronary artery bypass grafting
    (CABG)

    .

  • Reasons for Procedure


    Atherosclerosis is a disease of the arteries. Cholesterol and fatty deposits build up on the walls of the arteries. This restricts blood flow. When this buildup happens in the heart, it may lead to a
    heart attack
    . Lifestyle changes and medicines can be used to treat atherosclerosis. If they are not enough, an angioplasty may be done.

  • Possible Complications

    If you are planning to have an angioplasty, your doctor will review a list of possible complications which may include:

    • Bleeding at the point of catheter insertion
    • Damage to the walls of arteries, causing you to need more procedures or surgery
    • Heart attack
      or
      abnormal heart beats called
      arrhythmia
    • Allergic reaction to x-ray dye
    • Blood clots
    • Infection
    • Stroke

    • Temporary
      kidney failure

    Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

    • Allergies
      to medicines, shellfish, or x-ray dye
    • Obesity
    • Smoking
    • Bleeding disorder
    • Increased age

    • Recent
      pneumonia

    • Recent
      heart attack
    • Diabetes
    • Kidney disease