Why is there a need for coronary interventions?

Due to diets rich in fats and risk factors such as smoking, hypertension and diabetes, plaque forms in coronary arteries. Plaque disrupts blood from flowing to the heart. As a result, poor blood flow leads to angina, commonly known as chest pain. It may become difficult to breathe, and in some instances, if the artery is blocked completely, you will experience a heart attack.

A heart attack feels as if your chest is about to give in, and you may become sweaty and develop arm and shoulder pain. Unfortunately, this is often mistaken for reflux at times. Fortunately, coronary angioplasty is a minor surgical procedure to open a blocked coronary artery for blood to flow to the heart muscle.

What is coronary angioplasty, and how is it performed?

A coronary angioplasty is a minimally invasive surgery that involves using a balloon catheter to open a blocked coronary artery to improve blood flow to the heart. A stent, which is a mesh of metal crimped onto a balloon, is used frequently in coronary disease to maintain patency of coronary arteries. Stents have certain medications in their lining to prevent re-occlusion of the stented vessel.

Angioplasty is often considered a life-saving procedure performed in the emergency unit to prevent irreversible damage to the heart. In stable disease or emergency settings such as a heart attack, Dr Muller frequently performs angioplasty to open blocked arteries.

Most angioplasties are performed through the right arm. This has several advantages, namely mobility on the first day after the angioplasty. Certain catheters and wires are used to deliver specialised devices to deploy stents

What are the results of an angioplasty?

An angioplasty is a procedure that boasts a high success rate with increased, uninterrupted blood flow to the heart. Stenting coronary arteries improve chest pain and reduce the risk of future heart attacks. Although the results of the procedure are highly effective in helping you return to daily living, you still need to attend regular follow-ups to ensure that comorbidities and risk factors are controlled. Following a healthy diet, exercising and discontinuing unhealthy habits prevent symptoms of coronary artery disease from returning.

Good cardiac rehabilitation is needed after a heart attack. It is important to address risk factors to avoid heart attacks that carry a significant risk.


What are the results of an angioplasty?

An angiogram is a test that utilises x-rays to capture images of the heart's blood vessels. Dye is inserted through a long tube (catheter) into the arteries to highlight them on an x-ray.

How long is a stent left inside the artery?

A stent is permanently fitted to the arterial wall to help keep it open. However, the placement of a stent is not a definite cure for the build-up of plaque, a condition known as atherosclerosis. Further medical therapy is required to maintain stent patency and to treat comorbidities.

Will you need blood thinners after placing the stent?

Yes, two commonly used antiplatelet therapies, namely aspirin and clopidogrel, are given for 6 to 12 months, depending on the complexity of the procedure and bleeding risk. This may be shortened in selected patients deemed a high bleeding risk.

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