Coronary Angioplasty

Coronary Angioplasty

Coronary angioplasty is a percutaneous coronary interventional procedure that is done to widen blocked or narrowed arteries of the heart. It is performed using a catheter with a balloon that helps widen the narrowed arteries and improve blood circulation. A stent is placed in the artery to prevent it from narrowing again. Coronary angioplasty is a life-saving procedure when done during a heart attack.

Arteries that supply blood to the heart are called coronary arteries. Any blockage in these arteries can lead to impaired heart functioning. The most common cause of blockage of arteries is the formation of plaque, also known as atherosclerosis. Over a period of time, these plaques harden and rupture and block an artery. Coronary angioplasty helps removing these blockages and restore the blood supply to the heart. Angioplasty is often done as an emergency treatment of heart attack or in patients with chest pain, which does not improve with medications and lifestyle changes.

A coronary angioplasty is performed under local anaesthesia. A thin, flexible catheter is inserted into one of the arteries of the groin, wrist or arm. Using X-ray images, the catheter is guided to reach the affected artery of the heart. Once the catheter is in place, a thin wire with an attached balloon is guided down to the affected section of the artery. The balloon is inflated, which breaks down the deposits on the artery wall so that blood can flow easily. The balloon is deflated and then removed along with the wire and catheter. In case a stent is to be inserted, it is placed around the balloon. When the balloon is inflated, the stent expands and remains in place after the balloon is deflated and removed. The entire procedure lasts for about 30 minutes and patient is kept under observation for 24 hours.

The benefits of coronary angioplasty far outweigh any risks associated with the procedure. Some of the common risks include:

  • Bleeding at site of incision
  • Damage to blood vessel due to catheter
  • Infection at site of catheter insertion
  • Chest pain
  • Heart attack
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Allergy to dye used

There are two major complications that can occur after a stent is placed in the coronary artery.

  • Restenosis
    There is a possibility of the artery getting blocked again. This is due to formation of scar tissue in and around the stent. Non-medicine coated stents increase the chances of restenosis as compared to medicine coated stents.
  • Blood clots
    There is a risk of blood clots forming in the stents that can block the arteries. This can be avoided by taking blood thinners as prescribed by the cardiologist.

The Centre for Cardiac Sciences at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore has some of the best coronary angioplasty doctors. They use their expertise to provide the best angioplasty treatment to patients in the most efficient way. The Centre for Cardiac Sciences is equipped with facilities that are at par with international standards to provide basic and advanced cardiac care to all patients visiting the centre. The team of top cardiac specialists, anaesthetists and other medical experts aim to provide the best coronary angioplasty treatment in the most comprehensive manner.