Angioplasty is an endovascular procedure used to open vessels and reduce blockages. This minimally invasive procedure is performed to treat narrowed or blocked arteries and veins in many parts of the body, including the heart, brain, legs, and other areas. It is used to treat atherosclerosis, a condition that reduces the flow of blood and oxygen due to a buildup of plaque in the walls of the artery. This can cause severe symptoms, such as chest pain, stroke, and even heart attack. But, what exactly is Angioplasty, how is it done, and what should you know before getting it done?
What is Angioplasty?
Angioplasty is a vascular and endovascular procedure used to relieve blockages and reduce narrowing in arteries and veins. It is performed by a vascular surgeon, usually using tools called balloon catheters, stents, or atherectomy instruments. The procedure involves inserting a balloon catheter into an artery or vein, inflating it to widen the blood vessel, and then inserting a stent or atherectomy device to keep the vessel open.
Why is Angioplasty Needed?
Angioplasty is most often used to treat blockages and narrowing caused by atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaque builds up and covers the walls of the artery. Over time, this buildup of plaque narrows the vessel, reducing the amount of blood and oxygen it can carry. This can cause chest pain, heart attack, and stroke. Angioplasty is used to restore healthy blood flow and reduce the risk of these and other complications.
How is Angioplasty Done?
The procedure for angioplasty is usually done in a hospital or an outpatient surgery center. During the procedure, the patient is given a mild sedative and local anesthetic before being put on the operating table. A doctor will then make a small incision in an artery in the leg, arm, or chest. A thin, flexible tube called a catheter is inserted through the incision, and a balloon is inflated inside the artery or vein. This balloon pushes the plaque away, widening the vessel and restoring healthy blood flow. After the procedure, a stent or atherectomy device is inserted to keep the vessel open. The catheter is then removed, and the incision is closed.
What Should You Know Before Getting Angioplasty?
Before getting angioplasty, it’s important to discuss the procedure and its risks and benefits with your doctor. This can help you make an informed decision about whether the procedure is right for you. It’s also important to talk to your doctor about any medications, supplements, or other treatments you’re taking. Your doctor may also want to do a few tests to make sure you’re in good health before doing the procedure.
Possible Risks and Complications of Angioplasty
Like any other medical procedure, angioplasty carries some risks. These include:
• Allergic reaction to anesthesia
• Damage to blood vessel
• Blood clots
• Heart attack or stroke
Recovering From Angioplasty
Although it is a minimally invasive procedure, angioplasty still requires some recovery time. During the recovery process, it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions and take any prescribed medications. You should also avoid strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting or vigorous exercise, until you’re given the go-ahead by your doctor. Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of rest can also help with the recovery process.
Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to reduce blockages and restore blood flow in the arteries and veins. It is most often used to treat narrowed and blocked arteries caused by atherosclerosis. The procedure is usually done in a hospital or outpatient surgery center and requires some recovery time. It is important to discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure with your doctor before getting it done.
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