Angioplasty is referred to as a cardiac procedure which involves widening the narrowed section of a coronary artery. Usually performed by an interventional cardiologist, this procedure is performed in a cardiac catheterization lab, short for a cath lab. An interventional cardiologist takes extra care to review the risks, in addition to obtaining your counsel prior to preparing you for the procedure. The physician also refers to your medical history in order to determine the amount of anesthesia that should be used.
What happens during the procedure?
Although mild sedatives will be administered to help you relax, the process requires you to remain awake throughout the procedure.
The procedure of angioplasty involves cardiac catheterization. The doctor numbs the intended site through medications and inserts the catheter. Following such, the doctor inserts a thin sheath in your artery, oftentimes in your groin or arm. A long, narrow, empty tube known as a catheter, is then carefully guided through the sheath, through the blood vessels and into the arteries near the heart.
A little amount of liquid is then injected through the catheter which is moved through the chambers, valves and vessels of the heart. This movement is then pictured with the help of X-rays, with which the doctors can diagnose the condition and working of the coronary arteries and the heart valve.
The surgical procedure lasts for around 1.5 - 2.5 hours but the preparation and post - surgical procedures may take several hours. A patient is usually made to stay overnight to be monitored by medical personnel.
What to expect before an Angioplasty?
Most people are made to undergo a blood test and electrocardiogram before having an angioplasty. Usually scheduled a day before the procedure, such tests usually require separate appointments. Usually patients are restricted to eat since 12 hours before the exam.
What happens post-procedure?
After the procedure, you will be instructed to remain flat for 5-6 hours without bending your legs, so as to prevent bleeding. The nurse will instruct you as to when you can get up from your bed. You may not be permitted to drink or eat until the groin sheath is removed as such can cause nausea.
According to the procedure, the doctor will provide you with adequate after care advice.