Angioplasty: Understanding the Procedure, Risks, and Benefits
Angioplasty is a medical procedure that is used to open blocked or narrowed arteries in the heart or other parts of the body.
Angioplasty is typically performed to treat coronary artery disease, which occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrowed or blocked due to the buildup of plaque.
During the procedure, a small balloon is inflated inside the blocked or narrowed artery to push the plaque against the artery walls, opening up the artery and restoring blood flow.
In some cases, a stent (a small metal mesh tube) may be placed in the artery to help keep it open after the procedure.
Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that is typically performed under local anesthesia.
The risks of angioplasty include bleeding, blood clots, infection, and damage to the artery or surrounding tissue.
However, the benefits of angioplasty can be significant, including relief of chest pain, improved blood flow to the heart, and a reduced risk of heart attack or other heart-related complications.
After the procedure, patients may need to take medications to prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of further artery blockages.
In some cases, lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise may also be recommended to help prevent further artery blockages.