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Unstable Angina: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the treatment?

Unstable angina is a kind of condition where your heart rarely gets very less oxygen or blood flow. This can lead to a heart attack in severe cases. Angina is a form of chest discomfort which is caused due to less blood supply through the coronary vessels (blood vessels) of the myocardium (heart muscle). Unstable angina is caused due to many factors, the most common being coronary artery disease due to a condition known as atherosclerosis. This condition is caused because of the build-up of fatty material along the artery walls. It makes the arteries less flexible and narrow. The narrowing in turn interrupts the blood flow to the heart and causes immense chest pain. Some major risk factors of unstable angina include, smoking, old age, obesity, not exercising enough, low HDL cholesterol, high LDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and family history of Unstable angina.

Usually blood thinners are given to the patients to prevent Unstable angina from occurring and resulting to a heart attack. This medication includes a drug called clopidogrel or aspirin. During Unstable angina you can get herparin which is a blood thinner or nitroglycerin through IVF. Sometimes the blood vessel gets blocked or narrowed down due to unstable angina, in such cases Angioplasty is recommended to open the blood vessel. This treatment is the most common treatment to cure coronary artery disease due to unstable angina.

How is the treatment done?

Angioplasty is the most effective procedure performed on people who have unstable angina which may or has already led to a heart attack. Angioplasty is also known as percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). It is performed using a soft and thin tube called a catheter. This catheter is inserted inside a blood vessel in the wrist or groin. The doctor then pushes and guides the catheter till it reaches the coronary arteries of the heart. The blockages or the narrowing inside the coronary arteries is then located and this is done by putting a dye in the body which contains iodine. This helps the coronary artery become visible in the X-ray screen. This procedure is known as Cardiac catherterization.

Another type of angioplasty can be performed with or without a stent. If there is blockage in the artery, the catheter is moved to the narrow artery and a small balloon is used to open the artery. This balloon is inflated for some time and then removed after being deflated. The surgeon can also use this balloon to keep a stent inside the artery so that it remains open.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Patients who experience unexplained or sudden chest pain that become unbearable and interferes with your daily activity should seek medical help and get the treatment as soon as possible. If the pain doesn’t reduce after consuming more than three doses of nitroglycerin, an angioplasty treatment is recommended. People who feel fatigue more often or feel light headed most of the times are perfect candidates for an angioplasty procedure. You should also opt for this treatment if your heart is not steady and beats really slow.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Angioplasty should not be performed on people who have no evidence of decreased blood flow to the heart or if the blood vessels are not extremely narrowed down or blocked. Blood thinner medicines should not be taken if you get a stent in your blood vessel. Those who do not have a suitable anatomy of the artery should not get angioplasty done as it may lead to complications or even death. Therefore, it is important to consult your doctor before getting this procedure.

Are there any side effects?

If the angioplasty procedure is a success there are no serious side effects. However, there can be certain risks during the procedure such as an artery collapse when stenting cannot be performed, damage or bleeding to the blood vessel during insertion of the catheter or an allergic reaction to the stent or the dye. If there are a lot of complications in the arteries, stroke or heart attack can also occur. After the procedure, side effects such as fatigue or light headedness can also occur from consuming medications.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Angioplasty takes about 30 to 90 minutes to finish. However, time is needed to recover from this procedure completely. After this procedure your heart rate, blood pressure and pulse will be monitored and the site where the catheter was inserted will be checked for any signs of bleeding. After you are discharged from the hospital, you should abstain from lifting heavy objects or doing strenuous physical exercise. You should also not drive for quite some days after the procedure. Antiplatelet medicines can be given to prevent a stroke or a heart attack. After angioplasty, it is recommended to attend a cardiac rehabilitation program for building healthy habits which will aid you in the future, towards a healthy heart.

How long does it take to recover?

This procedure generally takes less than an hour or 2 to 3 hours depending upon the complications. However, patients who have gone through angioplasty can do their daily activities with ease in a period of 1 to 2 weeks while taking the prescribed medication.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

In India, angioplasty treatment can vary from 1 lakh to 3 lakh depending upon the type of room, hospital and the stent. The cost of the surgery may go up depending upon the number of stents used.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

If proper care is taken after the angioplasty procedure, the results of this treatment are usually permanent. However, medications should be consumed as per prescribed and healthy food habits should be exercised for a healthy body.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Unstable angina can have other alternative treatments other than angioplasty such as consuming blood thinners like clopidogrel or aspirin. Some medications and drugs can also be prescribed to reduce symptoms of angina such as anxiety, unhealthy cholesterol levels and unstable blood pressure levels.

Popular Questions & Answers

Unstable angina can diagnoses by 2d echo stethoscope or ecg if yes than how much sure that I have angina.

MBBS, Dip.Cardiology, Fellowship in Clinical Cardiology(FICC), Fellowship in Echocardiology
Cardiologist, Ghaziabad
I am assuming you are taking about chest pain. Having a pain in your chest can be scary. It does not always mean that you are having a heart attack. There can be many other causes, including Other heart problems, such as angina Panic attacks Diges...

Hi sir, Can we definitely confirm unstable angina with 2d ech report doppler test and creatine serum level? I got normal reports in ecg but any chance of unstable angina.

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, DM - Cardiology, Fellowship in EP
Cardiologist, Delhi
ecg and troponins and ct angiogram are useful in diagnosing unstable angina. 2d echo not very useful.

Hi i am Male 49, having unstable angina, sugar feeling weakness always what is the reason and what is the remedy

Homeopath, Pune
The main symptom of angina is chest discomfort/pain, but this sensation can vary from person to person. Sometimes unstable angina causes sensations that feel as if you are having a heart attack. Angina symptoms include: squeezing or sharp chest pa...
2 people found this helpful

He is suffering from unstable angina. Recently angiogram was done to him reports are normal. He has asthma. He is using lar-h, clopidogrel. Will you please suggest which medicine can be used to reduce it?

Pulmonologist, Bangalore
Hi. I understand your concerns. Asthma is chronic and a common problem causing symptoms. He will need to pulmonary function test which is needed for diagnosis and also to assess severity of asthma based on which treatment can be started. Consult a...
1 person found this helpful

I am suffering from unstable angina and my family is suffering from diabetes with heart disease last 15 years. My weight is 90 kg.

Homeopathy Doctor, Faridabad
Hello, keep taking the medicines you are already on. Apart from those, I would suggest you to take homoeopathic medicines also to keep healthy heart: take schwabe's crataegus pentarkan and essentia aurea - both twice daily.
1 person found this helpful

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