What is coronary angioplasty?
Angioplasty is a procedure that is performed to restore the blood flow in patients who have narrow or blocked blood vessels.
Why do you need to do angioplasty?
The blood vessels of your heart can become blocked or narrowed due to build-up of cholesterol, cells or other substances (plaque) which leads to reduced blood flow to your heart and causes chest discomfort. Occasionally there will be the sudden formation of a blood clot which gets worse and completely blocks the blood flow, thereby leading to a heart attack. Angioplasty procedure helps to open the blocked blood vessels and will restore the normal blood flow to your heart.
How angioplasty is done?
Your doctor will numb an area on your arms or at the groin and insert a small tube (catheter) into an artery by watching on a special X-ray screen until it reaches into a coronary (heart) artery. After that, very thin wire and a thin expandable balloon at the end is threaded through the catheter and passed across the blockage. Once the balloon is inflated it will stretch the artery open and push the plaque to the side, so blood can flow more easily.
In most of the patients, a collapsed wire mesh tube (stent) is mounted on a special balloon and moved over the wire to the blocked area. When the balloon is inflated, it will open the stent against the artery walls which will lock in that position and will help keep the artery open.
How long does it take to complete an angioplasty procedure?
Mostly the time taken to complete an angioplasty is between 30 and 60 minutes.
How long does it take for a patient to recover after an angioplasty procedure?
Mostly you will have to stay in the hospital for a night to take rest and leave the following day. Sometimes you may have to stay for a longer period.
In most cases, you will be advised to avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting at least for a week or until the wound gets healed.
How much does it cost for angioplasty approximately?
In India, it's anywhere between INR 165,000 to INR 400,000 depending on the hospital, doctor and other factors.