When people hear the term angioplasty, although they might not thoroughly understand what it is, they realize that it’s something connected to a problem with the heart. Angioplasty is safe, minimally-invasive and can save the life of a person who has clogged arteries. The question is, under what circumstances is this life-saving procedure needed?
How the Coronary Arteries Work
It is first good to have a basic understanding of how your coronary arteries work. Their job is to give your heart the blood and the nutrients that it needs to work properly. If you start to develop plaque in your arteries, they get narrow, they become hard and blood flow is restricted. This leads to chest pain and the possibility of a heart attack. When clogged arteries are identified, our doctor may recommend that you get a coronary angioplasty. The purpose of the procedure is to improve the flow of blood to your heart. As a result, any chest pain you feel is going to diminish. Your physical activity will increase, and your risk of having a heart attack gets a lot lower.
How Safe is a Coronary Angioplasty Procedure?
As drastic as it sounds, this procedure is very safe, and it is a procedure that doctors perform very frequently. It is estimated that every year, more than 500,000 of these procedures are performed in the United States alone. Although it is a procedure that involves the arteries connected to the heart, it is still considered to be minimally-invasive.
How is the Procedure Performed?
The procedure is performed by taking a catheter and putting it into the large arteries in your groin or leg that go all the way to your heart. Then, a wire goes through the catheter. Next, a balloon and metal stent are placed over the wire right where the blockage occurs. The balloon is inflated, the stent is activated and any blockage is pushed to the walls of the artery. As a result, the artery is opened. Surprisingly, this procedure does not have a lot of recovery time.
Am I a Good Candidate for Angioplasty?
There are multiple factors that our doctor at Cardiology Consultants of Southwest Florida is going to consider when deciding if this is the right procedure for you. The best way to find out is to schedule a consultation with our board-certified cardiologist at our office in Fort Myers. Contact us today to book your appointment.