Coronary angioplasty is a procedure to open blockages or narrowing of the heart arteries. After undergoing angioplasty, the hope of a person who has or is at risk of a heart attack can increase and the risk for subsequent heart attacks can be reduced.
Angioplasty aims to increase blood flow to the heart. This mechanism is done by inserting and inflating a small balloon in the blocked part of the blood vessel to help expand the channel. This procedure is actually common in treating heart disease , especially in patients over 65 years.
Angioplasty is often combined with the placement of a small wire tube called a stent or ring . Some types of rings are coated with drugs that will help keep blood flow in the blood vessels open. Ring installation aims to open the blood vessel wall and prevent it from narrowing again.
Role of Angioplasty
In general, angioplasty is a procedure performed to treat the following health problems.
To correct the blockage of blood flow to the heart in patients with atherosclerosis, which symptoms include chest pain and shortness of breath. Atherosclerosis is hardening of the blood vessel wall that occurs due to fat plaque buildup. Angioplasty is performed if lifestyle changes or medication cannot relieve symptoms.
Can be done during a heart attack to open blockages of the heart arteries and reduce the risk of damage to the heart.
How is Angioplasty done?
Medical history, results of physical examinations and supporting examinations will be taken into consideration by the doctor before this procedure is performed. The patient will undergo a coronary angiogram to determine the exact location of narrowing of the arteries and know for certain that the narrowing or blockage that occurs can be treated with angioplasty.
Angioplasty is performed through a cardiac catheterization , by making a small incision in the skin of the leg, arm or wrist, so that a small catheter can be inserted into a vein to block the narrowed or narrowed heart arteries. The balloon at the end of the catheter will be inflated and deflated several times in the blood vessels, until the vessel wall is completely inflated. Then the catheter is removed. Chest pain can occur during the angioplasty because when a balloon is developed, blood flow to the heart is slightly blocked. During the procedure, the patient will be sedated but remain conscious and the heart record device will monitor the patient’s heart rate.
After the angioplasty is complete, the patient’s heart will be monitored in the hospital for some time, so the patient must be hospitalized. When you are allowed to go home, patients are usually advised to drink lots of water and avoid strenuous activities. Try to always take prescription drugs, such as aspirin and the like.
The patient must immediately see a doctor if: the area where the catheter is inserted feels pain, becomes red, swollen, feels hot, or has bleeding. Likewise if you experience shortness of breath, chest pain, or feeling weak.
This procedure cannot be performed on all people who experience heart disease. Some people who experience the following conditions are advised not to undergo angioplasty:
- Narrowing occurs in the main blood vessels that carry blood to the left heart.
- Weak heart muscle.
- Suffering more than one disease that attacks blood vessels.
- Suffering from diabetes.
- There are more than one blood vessel blockage.
In the above situation, it is better to do a heart bypass surgery (coronary bypass surgery) , which is an operation performed to make a new channel using blood vessels from other parts of the body, so that blood flow to the heart returns smoothly.
Angioplasty also has risks
Although considered to be able to save patients with heart disease, angioplasty also has risks, namely:
- Recurrent arterial narrowing. Angioplasty that is performed without the installation of a ring ( stent ) can cause this opportunity up to 30 percent.
- Blood clots can form in the ring after completion of the action. This clotting blood can clog the heart’s blood vessels and cause a heart attack.
- Bleeding in the leg or arm at the location of the catheter is inserted.
- Heart attack while undergoing the procedure.
- Kidney disorders due to contrast are used during angioplasty and ring fitting, especially in people who already have kidney problems.
- Damage to the heart arteries when the procedure is performed.
- Plaque can be released from the walls of blood vessels when the catheter enters the blood vessels, and clogs the blood vessels in the brain causing a stroke .
- Heartbeat that is too fast or too slow when undergoing angioplasty.
- Allergic reactions to contrast material used in the procedure.
- Death from a heart attack or stroke.
Undergoing angioplasty does not mean that heart disease has disappeared. This action will cause symptoms of shortness of breath and reduced chest pain, but can still reappear at any time. If angioplasty has been able to overcome the disturbances that occur in the heart, no need for heart bypass surgery that requires a large incision in the chest and a longer recovery stage.
So you do not need to undergo angioplasty, it is important to maintain health by stopping smoking, maintaining ideal body weight, lowering cholesterol levels, and exercising regularly.