Understanding the Angioplasty Procedure

Understanding the Angioplasty Procedure

Clogged arteries in your heart increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. Fortunately, angioplasty, a minimally invasive heart procedure performed by your cardiologist, Dr. Aamir Javaid of the Institute for Advanced Cardiovascular Care in Poinciana, St. Cloud, and Kissimmee, FL, can unclog blocked arteries, improving your heart health.

Who benefits from angioplasty?

Angioplasty is used to treat coronary artery disease caused by atherosclerosis, a condition that occurs when plaque, a collection of fat and cholesterol, builds up on the walls of your arteries. Plaque narrows the arteries, making it difficult for blood to flow freely through your heart.

Atherosclerosis can cause shortness of breath and chest pain. If clogging is severe, you may be more likely to experience a heart attack or stroke. During a visit to the Poinciana, St. Cloud, or Kissimmee, FL, cardiology offices, your heart doctor may recommend angioplasty if you've been experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath, one or two of your arteries are severely blocked, or medications and lifestyle changes haven't improved your symptoms. Angioplasty may also be performed to limit damage to your heart after a heart attack.

What happens during angioplasty?

Your cardiologist inserts a small tube called a catheter through an artery in your arm or groin. Before the procedure begins, the area will be numbed to ensure that you don't feel any pain. You'll also be given medication that will help you feel relaxed.

Your heart doctor will slowly pass the catheter through your artery, using an X-ray machine to guide them. After the catheter reaches a blockage, your cardiologist will insert an uninflated balloon. Inflating the balloon compresses the plaque, widening your artery and improving blood flow. A tiny mesh tube known as a stent may also be placed in the artery to keep it open.

You'll stay overnight at the hospital following the procedure and may need to take aspirin and blood-thinning medication for several months or indefinitely. You'll need to avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting for a day or two but will soon be able to return to your normal routine.

Angioplasty helps you protect your heart. Call your cardiologist in Poinciana, St. Cloud, and Kissimmee, FL, Dr. Javaid of the Institute for Advanced Cardiovascular Care, at (407) 572-8900 if you have concerns about your heart health.