Coronary angioplasty is only performed when the patient’s heart is unable to pump blood freely. This happens when an artery becomes partially or completed blocked with plague. The procedure itself entails opening the chest cavity and repairing damage to the heart by unblocking the arteries. In many cases, a coronary stent will be placed in an artery that has become damaged or weak. Though considered to be a major medical procedure, coronary artery bypass graft surgery can only be performed when the doctor believes that there is no other option.
Sometimes damage to the heart is identified after a patient has a major heart attack, stroke or other heart issue. After a series of heart related medical tests are performed, doctors can determine whether or not medication alone can help the patient to recover. However, when it becomes apparent that a blocked coronary artery cannot be cleared with medication or other more minor medical procedures, coronary angioplasty will be recommended.
Almost every major complication associated with coronary angioplasty leads to death. The surgery itself can be deemed a success immediately afterward, but the patient may suffer painful side effects a few days to several months later. If the stent becomes dislodged, patients can also experience painful side effects.
When coronary angioplasty is successful, patients can live for many decades without further issue. This congestive heart failure treatment is performed regularly in the United States by hundreds of well trained surgeons. Some patients are able to discontinue taking heart medications meant to thin out plaque deposits in the arteries, stop using their oxygen masks and start engaging in activities that raise the heart rate.
The risks of coronary surgery are greatly outweighed by the benefits, however, it is still important that you explore all of your options. Generally, patients will learn several months in advance so that they can properly prepare for this procedure. There is a small chance that your arteries can become unblocked by eating a diet that is low in cholesterol as well as excess fat. Subsequent tests of the heart will be able to show how healthy your arteries are and how well your heart is pumping blood.