Do you have coronary heart disease? Have you recently suffered a heart attack? If you have been diagnosed with either of these conditions, your cardiovascular physician at Palms West Hospital may recommend coronary angioplasty. This minimally invasive procedure offers recipients extensive health benefits. Unlike bypass surgery, this process requires only minimal access to the interior structure of the heart. As a result, patients often experience fewer postoperative complications. They also can enjoy speedier recovery periods.
Inserting the Catheter
Coronary angioplasty produces far less trauma to the body because it demands access to the heart through a catheter. A catheter is a small, narrow tube. When used during coronary angioplasty, it provides the means through which the corrective devices can travel to the heart. The insertion of this minimally invasive device comprises the initial step of coronary angioplasty.
Opening the Balloon
A physician may advise coronary angioplasty because a patient’s coronary artery is too small to capably pass blood to the heart. This narrowness results from the accumulation of fat, calcium, and cholesterol on the wall of the artery. To restore function to the artery, a small balloon is next introduced through the catheter to the blockage site. Upon placing it in the correct position, the physician can open the balloon to widen the artery and allow healthy blood flow once more.
Introducing the Stent
The conditions that necessitate coronary angioplasty typically weaken the coronary arteries. Both coronary heart disease and heart attacks can compromise the integrity of the arterial walls, so even if a balloon can temporarily open the passageway, the artery may collapse in the future. This can cause another heart attack. To prevent this outcome, a physician may insert a stent into the artery. A stent is a thin, hollow device that buttresses the arterial walls, keeping them open despite their weakened state. Once the stent is in place, the coronary angioplasty procedure is done.
Do you have more questions about coronary angioplasty? If so, call Palms West Hospital at (561) 798-3300. Our cardiovascular department offers individualized treatment and support services for individuals in Royal Palm and the surrounding communities.