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Coronary Angioplasty

Defining Coronary Angioplasty

Coronary angioplasty is a medical procedure in which a balloon is used to open a blockage in a coronary artery narrowed by atherosclerosis. It involves inserting and expanding a tiny balloon at the site of the blockage to help clear the clogged artery. This procedure improves blood flow to the heart. Coronary angioplasty can provide relief to patients suffering from some of the symptoms associated with blocked arteries, including shortness of breath and chest pain. This healthcare technique may also be performed during a heart attack to quickly open a clogged artery and thereby minimize damage to the heart.

Patients Eligible for Coronary Angioplasty

Severe clogged arteries which cannot be opened even by the use of medication or life style changes has to be cured by the medical procedure of coronary angioplasty. If the chest pain and short breath symptoms increase then also coronary angioplasty is the option available with the patient to renew the heart. If the blockage is small and can be easily cured by angioplasty then the medical practitioner advises the patient to go for a coronary angioplasty.

Coronary Angioplasty: Know what is performed

The pre-procedure routine includes no intake of food and water for a few hours before the procedure. Chest x-ray, electrocardiogram (ECG), and blood tests are also conducted. During the procedure A small incision is made, usually in the leg, and a thin guide wire is inserted and threaded through the artery right up to the blockage. A small thin catheter is passed over the wire until it reaches the site of the blockage. A small amount of dye is injected through the catheter so the healthcare practitioner can view the blockage on X-ray images called angiograms. A tiny balloon at the end of the catheter is inflated for several minutes at the site of the blockage stretching out the artery to widen it. This process of inflation is repeated several times.

Since the incision is so small the patient is discharged in couple of days and is prescribed to take anticoagulants to prevent further blood clots. The coronary angioplasty along with life style modification can help recover the patient.

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