Keyhole Angioplasty – A Quicker and Simpler Minimally-Invasive Technique

Heart Surgery is always thought upon as a major cardiac surgery that involves inches long incision to be made across the patient’s chest, wherein his heart is connected to a heart-lung machine and is stopped for the moment. Traditional method of coronary angioplasty needed a patient to spend weeks in the hospital and undergo painful recovery, post-surgery. But advancement in technology has brought keyhole angioplasty, a quicker and simpler minimally-invasive technique, as a boon. This surgery does not takes more than an hour’s time and is being considered as revolution in treating of cardiac disorders.

Just a few days ago, a 34-yr-old lady who was suffering from unstable angina came to Apollo Chennai for a Heart bypass surgery. On the recommendation of the team of doctors, she underwent a simpler keyhole procedure that did not take more than 20 minutes to get completed.

Dr Y Vijayachandra Reddy, Senior Consultant and Interventional Cardiologist, Apollo Hospital, Chennai, who was heading the team of surgeons, informed, “When coronary angiogram was done to the patient in her native place, it was revealed 90 per cent critical narrowing of the left main coronary artery (LMCA), the main arterial trunk supplying the majority of the heart muscle due to high cholesterol levels. She was then referred to our institute for bypass surgery or complex angioplasty and stenting of LMCA. After discussing the options in detail, the patient and family opted for non-surgical key-hole angioplasty procedure. The procedure took just 20 minutes and the family and patient were thrilled at the quick outcome.”

The health experts believe that minimally invasive ‘keyhole’ surgery procedure is gaining a lot of popularity as this method is less hurting than the traditional process. It offers more rapid recovery after the surgery and the patient is not required to stay in the hospital for weeks.

In the case of an unstable angina or other conditions of blocked heart vessels, suitable treatment is required or it can result in sudden death or heart attack. Heart vessels blocks these days are being treated by stenting and angioplasty but unprotected left main coronary artery is still being corrected by bypass surgery.

Dr S Vijay Shankar, Senior Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon, believes that this technique is extremely useful for old-age patients and anesthetic risk patients. ‘The use of advanced techniques, new generation drug-eluting stents and adjunctive imaging technology of IVUS (intravascular ultrasound) which allows a virtual view of the inside of arteries has helped make these procedures simple with long lasting benefits,” said he.

Dr Sengottuvelu who is an Intervention cardiologist points out that larger number open heart surgeries are now becoming angioplasties. He explained, “This is the trend worldwide. For some heart blocks, both the options of CABG and angioplasties are available. In my practice, I see that nearly 20% of procedures have become angioplasties.”

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