Unblocking the heart blockages: What you should know

A heart is a muscle, and requires continuous supply of blood to keep it healthy and beating. As we get older, the smooth inner walls of the arteries that supply the blood to the heart can become damaged and narrow due to the buildup of fatty materials, called plaque. When an area of plaque breaks, blood cells and other parts of the blood stick to the damaged area and form blood clots. A heart attack occurs when a blood clot completely blocks the flow of blood and reduces blood flow to the heart muscle causing chest pain which is one of the most common experience. It is important to visit a doctor who will further investigate with some preliminary test such as Electrocardiogram (ECG), and blood tests to detect the presence of some heart proteins. Coronary catheterization (Angiogram) helps to evaluate and confirm the areas of blockage in the arteries and evaluate heart muscle function to decide the further course of treatment such as Coronary angioplasty or Coronary artery Bypass Graft (CABG).

Coronary Angioplasty is a popular procedure done by specialists (Interventional Cardiologists)

What is Coronary Angioplasty ?
A non-surgical interventional procedure performed by Cardiologists to open narrowed coronary arteries to improve the blood flow to the heart. The procedure starts similarly to a Coronary Angiogram till the catheter is in place to perform Balloon angioplasty, Stent Placement. Angioplasty with stenting is most commonly recommended for patients who have a blockage in one or two coronary arteries. An Angioplasty takes about 30 minutes to about 2 hours’ from the start to the finish of the procedure. The procedure is usually performed in a Cathlab part of the cardiology unit under local anesthesia to numb the area of either the groin or the wrist. The patient is usually awake during the procedure. The consulting specialist (interventional cardiologist) guides up the catheter up the heart to reach the narrowed or blocked arteries which is detected on monitor. Normally the catheter is ballooned up to remove the plaques attached to the walls of the artery. This procedure is also referred to as Balloon angioplasty and leads to widening of the artery and thereby improving the blood flow to the heart. Other modifications of the angioplasty may include use of a stent which is referred to as PTCA (Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty)/PCI (Percutaneous coronary intervention) and Rotablation procedure where the tip of the instrument is used to grind the atherosclerotic plaque away.

What happens after the Coronary Angioplasty procedure ?
After the angioplasty procedure the patient is shifted to a cardiac care unit for close monitoring. Once the patient is stable, patient is shifted to the wards for a few days before the discharge process is initiated. Medication as per Cardiologist advice is very critical. The patient is advised to see the consultant specialist for routine follow up, modify lifestyle by regular exercise, and healthy diet.

How to find cardiologists for Coronary Angioplasty?
You can find and reach cardiologists for coronary Angioplasty from different hospitals and destinations on a single platform, Hinfoways. You can avail advice from multiple cardiologists, get approximate cost from various heart hospitals, compare and then choose your cardiologist.

Disclaimer: The content provided here is meant for general informational purposes only and hence SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, care or evaluation by a qualified doctor/physician or other relevantly qualified healthcare provider.