Frequently Asked Questions
What is Angioplasty?
Angioplasty is a medical procedure that is used to remove the blockages in the blood vessels or widen the narrowed blood vessels. It helps in restoring the normal blood flow throughout the arteries. Several Angioplasty techniques are available and based on the type of plaque [sticky deposit], size and shape of the artery; your doctor will decide which technique should be used. A stent may be placed during the Angioplasty or immediately after Angioplasty. The stent will help to keep the artery open.
Different types of Angioplasty techniques are:
- Balloon Angioplasty.
- Carotid artery Angioplasty.
- Coronary artery stent.
- Cerebral Angioplasty.
- PTA of the Femoral artery.
- Stent Implantation.
- Renal artery Angioplasty.
- Peripheral Angioplasty.
- Laser Angioplasty [Excimer Laser Coronary Angioplasty-ELCA].
What are the advantages of Angioplasty?
Advantages of Angioplasty are:
- It is a less invasive procedure.
- Short hospitalization.
- Decreased blood loss.
- Helps in removing the plaque that is formed in the blood vessels.
- It also widens the narrowed blood vessels or arteries.
- It restores the normal blood flow to the heart muscle.
- It lowers the risk of recurrence of heart attack.
What are the indications of Angioplasty?
Angioplasty is indicated in the following conditions:
- Heart attack.
- Proximal lesion.
- Coronary heart disease.
- Obstruction of the blood flow in the renal artery.
What is the preparation for Angioplasty?
- You may be asked about your present and past medical history and medications history.
- Inform your doctor if you are using any blood thinners or pain killers.
- You may be having some imaging tests to see the condition of the blockages.
- You may be advised to stop eating or drinking before 6 hours of the procedure.
- Inform your doctor if you are allergic to anesthesia or to any known contrast dye.
- Discuss all the risks, complications, and benefits associated with the Angioplasty with your doctor.
- You will be asked to sign the consent form before undergoing this procedure.
What are the steps involved in Angioplasty?
Steps involved in Angioplasty are:
- You may be either sedated or not with anesthesia.
- After sedation, a catheter or a small tube is inserted into the large artery.
- Now, the catheter is slowly directed throughout the artery until the tip reaches the vessel that needed to be examined.
- Then, a contrast dye is injected into the blood vessel through the catheter. This dye will help the blood vessels to view on the X-ray images.
- X-rays of the blood vessels will be examined by your doctor and finds blocked/narrowed blood vessels.
- Then, a small balloon at the end of the catheter will be inflated and widens the narrowed artery.
- After widening the artery, the balloon will be deflated.
- In some cases, a stent will be placed in the blocked artery for normal blood flow.
- Later, the catheter will be removed from the large artery.
What is the postprocedure care/recovery care for Angioplasty?
- After the completion of the procedure, you may need to stay in the hospital until you are awake from the sedation.
- If there is a pain at the site of catheter insertion, then consult your doctor.
- If the pain is severe, use the pain killers as directed by your doctor.
- You may feel faint or weak, chest pain, and/or shortness of breath.
- If bleeding is seen at the procedure site, consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Who can perform Angioplasty [Right specialist type for Angioplasty]?
Angioplasty can be performed by:
- Interventional Cardiologist.
- A Vascular surgeon who has experience in performing successful Angioplasties.
- Any surgeon who performed several successful Angioplasties.
What is the cost of Angioplasty?
Cost of Angioplasty depends on:
- Admission fee.
- Doctor fee.
- Age of the patient.
- Area of the body to be treated.
- The medical condition of the patient.
- Post-surgical complications that are involved.
- Type of Hospital.
- The admission room that you opted for.
The minimum cost for Angioplasty may be Rs.50,000.
An average cost for Angioplasty may be Rs.1,70,000.
The maximum cost for Angioplasty may be Rs.5,00,000.
Is Angioplasty a major surgery or minor surgery?
Angioplasty is either major or minor procedure depending on the patient's medical condition and the area to be treated.
What is the eligibility criteria for Angioplasty?
People who can undergo Angioplasty are:
- Individuals who are at the risk of developing heart disease.
- People who are suffering from angina.
- Individuals with severe chest pain during rest or stress.
- People suffering from severe atherosclerosis [blockage of blood vessels]
What is the ineligibility criteria for Angioplasty?
People who cannot undergo Angioplasty are:
- Individuals with a known cause for heart disease and chest pain.
- Individuals suffering from severe kidney disease.
- People who are currently on medications such as blood thinners and antiplatelets.
What are the risks and complications associated with Angioplasty?
Risks and complications associated with Angioplasty are:
- Bleeding at the site of catheter insertion.
- Formation of the clots in the stent.
- Irregular heartbeats.
- Damage to the artery or heart muscle.
- Infection may occur.
- Stroke or heart attack may occur.
- Kidney damage.
How long does it take to complete Angioplasty?
Angioplasty takes almost 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete the procedure and sometimes it may take more than the usual time to complete the procedure depending on the condition of the patient.
What is the recovery time?
Generally, people who undergo Angioplasty along with a stent will able to walk after 6 hours of the procedure.
What is the success rate of Angioplasty?
The success rate of Angioplasty depends on:
- Age of the patient.
- The medical condition of an individual.
- Experience of the doctor in performing Angioplasty.
However, the success rate of Angioplasty maybe 92%.
Is Angioplasty painful?
Angioplasty involves the insertion of a catheter in the larger artery of an individual and this may cause mild to moderate pain. In some cases, general anesthesia is given to sedate the individual and the individual does not feel any pain during the insertion and removal of the catheter from the artery.
Is Angioplasty Permanent?
Angioplasty may be a permanent procedure as the stent will remain in the artery permanently and the catheter tube is withdrawn from the body after placing the stent in the blocked arteries.
What are the long-term results of Angioplasty?
Long-term results of Angioplasty are:
- Decreases the chances of open heart surgery.
- Reduces the symptoms of cardiac disease.
- Helps in improving the blood supply.
- Improves the quality of life of the patient.
However, in the long run, Angioplasty may cause hypertension and may need to perform another Angioplasty.
Can Angioplasty be detected in the future?
In Angioplasty, a stent is placed in the blocked blood vessel and it can be detected under X-ray examination.
What are the options if Angioplasty fails or not successful?
If Angioplasty fails, then your doctor may perform open surgery to clear the blockages in the blood vessels.
What are the alternatives for Angioplasty?
Some of the alternatives for Angioplasty are:
- Enhanced External Counterpulsation [EECP].
- Anti-cholesterol drugs.