Angioplasty is a medical procedure used to help treat coronary artery disease. With this condition, the arteries to the heart are blocked with a thick buildup of plaque. This leads to chest pain and increases the risk of a heart attack. Angioplasty widens the artery by removing plaque, thus restoring blood flow to the heart. Angioplasty can help to improve chest pain and provide support to heart muscles after a heart attack.
Angioplasty is typically done as an outpatient procedure, which means that it is conveniently performed in our facility and does not require an overnight stay. Our surgeon threads a thin tube with a tiny balloon on the end, called a balloon-tipped catheter, into the affected artery, through either the leg or groin. Once the tube has been placed, the balloon is inflated, which widens the artery by pushing the plaque outward. When the procedure has been successfully completed, the balloon is deflated and removed.
In some cases, a stent may be placed during angioplasty. This thin, wire mesh tube helps keep the artery open and prevents further plaque buildup.
In addition to treating coronary artery disease, angioplasty can also be an effective treatment for atherosclerosis, peripheral artery disease, renal vascular hypertension, carotid artery stenosis and other conditions that cause the blood vessels to narrow.
In most cases, you should prepare for an angioplasty procedure by fasting for several hours depending on our doctor’s instructions. After your procedure, your heart rate and blood pressure, as well as the surgical site, will be monitored for several hours after the procedure to ensure that you’re healthy enough to go home.
While angioplasty recovery is fairly straightforward, you should avoid strenuous activity for at least 24 hours. Rest as much as possible and drink plenty of fluids. Our doctor will most likely recommend that you quit smoking since tobacco use is a major cause of coronary artery disease.
If you’re experiencing symptoms that are consistent with coronary artery disease, talk with our doctor at Cardiology Consultants of Southwest Florida and The Vein Center in Fort Myers. Our highly qualified team of experts can recommend lifestyle changes that may help improve your heart health, as well as determine whether angioplasty is right for you.
When it comes to your heart, you should always trust your gut when you feel that you are experiencing abnormal symptoms. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment to learn more about angioplasty.