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Frequently Asked Questions about Coronary Angioplasty

Q) What is Coronary Angioplasty ?

A) Coronary Angioplasty is a medical procedure used to restore the blood flow through a blocked artery. In this non-surgical procedure, a thin tube with a balloon is inserted to expand the site of blockage in the coronary artery. It is also referred to as PTCA (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty).

Q) What is the role of angioplasty and stenting ?

A) Angioplasty is a non-surgical procedure devised to unclog the blocked arteries. This procedure is carried out in a cardiac catheterization laboratory. The stenting is a device used to open the clogged arteries to restore blood flow.

Q) What is the difference between angiography and angioplasty ?

A) Angioplasty is a therapeutic procedure wherein the clogged portion of the artery is broadened to restore the blood flow. On the other hand, angiography is a medical examination done to detect the blocked areas in the coronary artery.

Q) Is Angioplasty done only for the heart ?

A) The procedure of angioplasty can be conducted for broadening blockage in several blood vessels of the body. If it is being done for coronary blood vessels, it is known as coronary angioplasty. The process of unclogging blockage in other blood vessels is known as carotid artery.

Q) What does a patient ask to do after the angioplasty ?

A) A patient is asked to drink lots of water to help flush away the iodine contrast dye from the body system. On the site of insertion, a sandbag or pressure bandage is placed to prevent the bleeding. You’ll be asked to take rest for next few hours.

Q) How does one feel after undergoing the procedure of Angioplasty ?

A) The doctor will talk to you about the amount of blockage eliminated from the artery and the possibility for the return of symptoms, necessary medications and changes to be implemented in the daily schedule.

Q) When should I call my doctor ?

A) You should call your doctor if :

  • Insertion site bleeds
  • Excessive chest pain
  • Numbness in the arm & leg of the insertion side.
  • Swelling increases
  • You feel any fever or signs of infection

Q) What are the risks involved in the process of angioplasty ?

A) Following are the risks involved in the procedure of angioplasty:

  • Bursting of the artery due to unsustainable high pressure
  • Kidney problem due to the iodine contrast dye in X-rays
  • Restenosis or re-blockage of the blood vessels

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