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What you need to know about Coronary Angioplasty in Bismarckstrasse

Coronary Angioplasty is the surgical procedure performed to widen blocked or narrowed coronary arteries. Coronary angioplasty is sometimes known as percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or percutaneous coronary intervention.

The coronary arteries

Like all organs in the body, the heart needs a constant supply of blood - this is supplied by two large blood vessels called the left and the right coronary arteries. In older people, these arteries can become narrowed and hardened. Hardening of the coronary arteries can result in Angina, a syndrome (collection of symptoms caused by an underlying health condition), caused when the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart becomes restricted.

Placing of the Stent

The most common symptom of angina is chest pain, which is usually triggered by physical activity. While many cases of angina can be treated with medication, severe symptoms of angina may require a coronary angioplasty to restore the blood supply to the heart.

Coronary angioplasties are also often used as an as emergency treatment following a heart attack.


MyMediTravel offers 1 Medical Centers in Bismarckstrasse, some of which offer Coronary Angioplasty procedures - see below for the complete list, along with estimated prices. The price of a Coronary Angioplasty can vary according to each individual’s case and will be determined based on a medical profile and medical history, an in-person assessment with the doctor will also be required. For a bespoke quote and to discuss further with a member of our patient support team, Click Here to submit your Free Quote.


Stents

  • Angioplasty involves using a catheter (a flexible tube) to insert a stent into the coronary artery. A stent is a short, hollow metal tube.
  • A small balloon is inflated to open the stent, which pushes against the artery walls. This widens the artery, squashing fatty plaques against the artery wall so that blood can flow through it more freely.

Atherosclerosis

  • A coronary angioplasty is necessary when hardening and narrowing of the coronary arteries prevents the heart from getting enough blood to function normally. Hardening of the arteries is known as atherosclerosis.
  • Your arteries harden and narrow naturally as you get older, but this process can be dangerously accelerated by: eating a high-fat diet, smoking, high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes,

Angina

  • Once the hardening and narrowing of your coronary arteries reaches a certain point, your heart no longer receives the blood supply it needs to work properly. This can trigger the symptoms of angina, including: pain or discomfort in your chest, breathlessness, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, belching (burping) restlessness.
  • The onset of symptoms of angina is sometimes called an angina attack.
  • There are two types of angina:
  1. Stable Angina, where symptoms only last a few minutes and are triggered by physical activity, which can be relieved with medication.
  2. Unstable Angina, where symptoms develop even when you are resting, last longer than five minutes and cannot usually be relieved with medication.
  • Medication is usually the first treatment option for stable angina. If your symptoms fail to respond to the medication, a coronary angioplasty may be recommended.
  • The recommended treatment for unstable angina depends on the results of testing. An electrocardiogram (ECG) may be used to record the rhythms and electrical activity of your heart.
  • If the results of your ECG suggest that your coronary arteries are severely narrowed, you may need a coronary angioplasty.

Heart attack

  • A coronary angioplasty can be used as an emergency treatment for a heart attack if the heart attack was caused by an interruption to your heart's blood supply.

The Operation

  • Usually takes about 30 minutes, although it may take longer depending on how many sections of your artery need to be treated.
  • You will be asked to lie on your back on an X-ray table. An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted into a vein, in case you need to have painkillers or a sedative. You will then be attached to a heart monitor and given a local anaesthetic to numb your skin.
  • The surgeon will make a small incision (cut) in the skin of your groin or wrist, and will insert the balloon-tipped catheter (a thin, flexible tube). The surgeon will guide the catheter up through the artery in your groin (or arm), passing it through the main artery in your body (the aorta) and into the opening of your left or right coronary artery.
  • When the catheter reaches the narrowed part of your coronary artery, the surgeon will inflate the balloon. This will squash the fatty material on the inside walls of your blocked artery in order to widen it. This will be done several times.
  • If you are having a stent inserted (see below), it will open up as the balloon is inflated and will be left inside your artery.
  • The surgeon will check that your artery is wide enough to allow blood to flow through more easily. They do this by injecting a small amount of contrast dye into the catheter and watching it flow through the artery. They will then deflate the balloon and withdraw the catheter.
  • You will not be able to feel the catheter when it is inside the blood vessel, but you may feel an occasional missed or extra heartbeat. This is nothing to worry about and is completely normal.

Stents

  • A stent is a short, wire mesh tube that acts like a scaffold to help keep your artery open. There are two main types of stent:
  1. Bare Metal (uncoated) Stent.
  2. Drug-Eluting Stent, which is coated with medication that reduces the risk of the artery becoming blocked again.
  • The biggest drawback of using bare metal stents is that, in around 30% of cases, the arteries begin to narrow again. This is because the immune system sees the stent as a foreign body and attacks it, causing inflammation (swelling) and excessive tissue growth around the stent.
  • Many cardiologists (heart specialists) avoid this problem by using drug-eluting stents. These are coated with medication that reduces the body's inflammatory response and tissue growth.
  • Once the stent is in place, the medication is released over time into the area that is most likely to become blocked again.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG)

  • CABG is surgery to bypass a blockage in an artery using segments of healthy blood vessel (grafts) taken from other parts of the body. Segments of vein from your legs or chest are used to create a new channel through which blood can be directed past the blocked part of the artery. This allows more blood to get through into the heart muscle.
  • It is usually recommended when multiple coronary arteries have become blocked and narrowed. However, it is invasive surgery so may not be suitable for people who are particularly frail and in a poor state of health.
  • A coronary angioplasty may not be possible if the anatomy of the blood vessels near your heart is abnormal.

Coronary Angioplasty or CABG?

  • If you are able to choose between having a coronary angioplasty or a CABG, be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of each technique.
  • As a coronary angioplasty is non-invasive, you will recover from the effects of the operation quicker than you will from CABG. The procedure also has a lower complication rate.
  • CABG has a longer recovery time than coronary angioplasty and a higher complication rate. CABG is usually a more effective treatment option for people who are over 65 years of age and for those with diabetes.
  • Discuss the benefits and risks of both types of surgery with your surgical team.

Coronary Artery Bypass

  • This is a procedure that allows the blood flowing through your coronary artery to bypass (get round) the part of the artery that is blocked.
  • To do this, an artery from another area of your body, such as your chest wall, is taken and one end is grafted below the blockage and the other end above the blockage.
  • A coronary angioplasty may be a suitable procedure if you have previously had a coronary artery bypass. If the 'grafted' blood vessels become blocked, a coronary angioplasty may be used to widen them.

Additional factors to consider:

1. Recovery time and Risks: You will normally be able to leave hospital the day after having a coronary angioplasty. Arrange for a friend or family member to take you home.

Before leaving hospital, you will be told about any medication that you need to take (see below) and you may receive advice about improving your diet and lifestyle. You will also be given a date for a follow-up appointment to check on your progress.

You may have a bruise under the skin where the catheter was put in. This is not serious, but it may be sore for a few days. Occasionally, the small wound where the catheter was inserted can become infected. Keep an eye on the wound to check that it is healing properly. Tell your Doctor if it becomes red and sore.


After having a coronary angioplasty, avoid doing any heavy lifting for about a week or until the small wound from the catheter has healed.

If you have had a planned coronary angioplasty, you should be able to resume your normal activities within a week. However, if you have had an emergency angioplasty following a heart attack, it may be several weeks or months before you recover fully. Most people need to take blood-thinning medication for at least six months after having an angioplasty

2. Patient reviews: The vast majority of patients are extremely happy with not only the results of the procedure but with the entire process leading up to and following the surgery.

3. For an in-depth analysis of the pros and cons of Coronary angioplasty, watch this short video.


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