Sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy food habits result in many lifestyle diseases, coronary heart diseases being one among them. One of the top 10 leading causes of death, heart attack might scare you, and it is necessary to know the facts to avoid risk factors and seek the best treatment.
The coronary arteries supply blood to your heart muscle. But at times, they can become blocked owing to the buildup of cholesterol and other substances known as plaque. It can reduce the flow of blood to the heart. When the blood flow is entirely restricted, it may result in a heart attack.
Doctors typically recommend angiography during or after a heart attack or in the case of angina to find out about the condition of the heart and proceed accordingly. If any blockages are observed, angioplasty would be advised to improve the blood flow to the heart by widening the narrowed arteries. Read on to know further details regarding this.
What is coronary angiogram?
A coronary angiogram is a special X-ray test which helps in detecting if any of the coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked, hindering the optimal flow of blood. It can help your cardiologist understand whether you need any treatment such as stent or angioplasty or simple medical therapy.
During the process of angiography, your doctor would numb a spot in the arm or groin for inserting a thin catheter into the artery. You will get the feeling of a pinprick, and x-rays would be taken as the fluid goes through the coronary artery. After the process is completed, your doctor would discuss the results of the test with you and determine whether you need to undergo angioplasty.
What is coronary angioplasty?
A coronary angioplasty is a process which is used for widening blocked or narrowed blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. The term angioplasty entails using a balloon for stretching open the blocked artery. But the modern approaches to angioplasty procedures involve insertion of a short-wire mesh tube known as a stent. This stent is permanently left alone in the deployed state to allow free flow of blood to the heart.
Coronary angioplasty is often referred to as percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or PTCA. The combination of angioplasty together with stenting is known as a percutaneous coronary intervention. Even though angina can be easily treated with the help of medicine and some lifestyle changes, a coronary angioplasty may be required for restoring the flow of blood to the heart. Doctors recommend undergoing coronary angioplasty as an emergency treatment after a heart attack.
What are the benefits of coronary angioplasty?
The flow of blood through the coronary arteries is massively improved after the coronary angioplasty. Many people find that the symptoms and discomfort are improved after undergoing this treatment. For individuals who have suffered a heart attack, angioplasty can significantly improve the chances of survival.
So, with this awareness, follow the doctor’s advice for a complete recovery from a heart attack. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
An AV Fistula is the term used for a surgically created connection between an artery and a vein, usually on the arm or forearm.
A surgically created AV Fistula for dialysis
There are many options of the combination of artery and vein to be used for AV fistula on both arms. A good ultrasound doppler of the arm veins helps us to decide which is the best site for an AV Fistula surgery.
After an AV fistula is surgically created, it needs a maturation time of about 4 - 6 weeks, after which it may be used for dialysis access.
A fully matured AV Fistula, ready for dialysis access
The biggest advantage of an AV fistula is that it is a permanent solution for Dialysis throughout the lifetime of a patient, and carries minimal chances of failure and infection as it does not involve any artificial tube or graft to be placed inside the body.
If an AV fistula surgery is not possible due to unsuitable veins on the arms, a synthetic tube graft known as an AV graft may be surgically placed on the arm.
A surgically placed AV Graft for dialysis access
If an AV Fistula is failing, does not mature or gets blocked, there are many options for salvage of the fistula both surgically (thrombus removal) and endovascularly (Balloon angioplasty), to make it functional again.
A temporary venous access using different types of catheters may also be attained for dialysis, and involves placement of simple (Temporary) as well as complex (Permanent) catheters such as the PERMACATH for dialysis patients.
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.
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cardiologist.