MedSolutionan operating division of Medical Tourism Inc.

Coronary Angioplasty

Synonyms: Balloon Angioplasty, Heart Revascularization Procedure, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty (PTA)

What is Coronary Angioplasty?

Coronary Angioplasty or Balloon Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure in which the blocked or narrowed coronary arteries are opened (widened) to facilitate perfusion of the heart muscle. Coronary Angioplasty reduces the need for medication and to some extent eliminates chest pain due to Ischemic Heart Disease.

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Where can I get Coronary Angioplasty?

Country Cost with MedSolution
France $18,409 (inquire)
India $3,700 (inquire)
Cost of procedure performed in the US: $35,000.
All prices are in US dollars and include the cost of the procedure and minimum hospital stay. Estimates and minimum hospital stay will vary depending upon individual needs and requirements.

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What does the procedure for Coronary Angioplasty involve?

The procedure for Coronary Angioplasty usually comprises of three steps: Step one of Coronary Angioplasty, also known as artherectomy involves removal of blockage (plaque) from your coronary artery either by laser or with specialized instruments to cut the plaque away and clear the arterial channel. The second step of Coronary Angioplasty makes use of a balloon (thus the alternative term Balloon Angioplasty). In this step, an un-inflated balloon is inserted with the help of a guide wire to the site of blockage. The balloon is then inflated, which enlarges the blood channel and increases blood flow through the artery. It is interesting to note that Coronary Angioplasty can reduce a 70 - 90% blockage to about 20 - 30%. Step three of Coronary Angioplasty consists of implanting a mesh stent which is tightly mounted on the Coronary Angioplasty balloon into the walls of blocked artery. The balloon is then deflated and removed leaving the stent in place permanently to hold the artery open. In this procedure of Coronary Angioplasty, the coronary arteries are accessed through a puncture made in the groin (femoral artery) or arm (brachial artery). Usually the femoral artery is used. Depending upon the extent of coronary artery narrowing, all three steps may or may not be carried out. The procedure of Coronary Angioplasty can take 30 minutes to several hours depending on the number of blockages being treated.

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Who is an ideal candidate for Coronary Angioplasty?

If one or more of your coronary arteries are blocked, if your chest pain due to angina is not well controlled with medications, if the pain is is severe enough to disrupt your daily activities and also occurs at rest, then you are an ideal candidate for Coronary Angioplasty.

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Who is not an ideal candidate for Coronary Angioplasty?

If you have severe narrowing of your left coronary artery in isolation or accompanied by a weak pumping of the heart, if you have a severely narrowed left anterior descending artery and one other coronary artery, plus diabetes or /and weak pumping of the heart, then Coronary Angioplasty is not for you.

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What is the recovery period like following Coronary Angioplasty?

You will be hospitalized overnight most probably in the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) and will be allowed to go home the following day after the Coronary Angioplasty. There will be a bruise or lump at the site of stent implantation which will resolve in the next few days. You may be prescribed aspirin or anti-platelet medication for the rest of your life following Coronary Angioplasty procedure. However, the good news is that your medications to relieve chest pain will decrease or may be discontinued completely. Watch for bleeding, swelling, pain or discomfort at the incision site, feeling of faintness, weakness, fever, redness or swelling in the leg which was used for Coronary Angioplasty procedure. If you develop chest pain or shortness of breath following Coronary Angioplasty, contact your physician immediately.

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What is the outcome of Coronary Angioplasty?

The outcome of Coronary Angioplasty procedure which is preceded by artherectomy and followed by implantation of intra-arterial stents has a 90% success rate. However, 30 - 40% of patients who have had successful Coronary Angioplasty can develop re-stenosis of their coronary artery. Therefore, it is extremely vital for you to make some positive lifestyle changes like daily exercise, maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet, lower you blood cholesterol level, control your other health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes and quit smoking following the Coronary Angioplasty to prevent the narrowing of the coronary artery to recur.

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B . R . A . N . D . of Coronary Angioplasty

Benefits of Coronary Angioplasty

  • Quicker and less painful recovery
  • Short hospital stay, does not require general anesthesia
  • Small incision
  • Coronary Angioplasty can be done under local anesthesia
  • The chest cage does not need to be opened
  • Chances of major post-operative complications like stroke are minimized as heart-lung machine is not used during the procedure of Coronary Angioplasty

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Risks of Coronary Angioplasty

  • Allergic reaction to the dye
  • Ruptured coronary artery
  • Bleeding and infection at the site of insertion
  • Arrhythmia
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Kidney failure
  • Rupture or dissection of the coronary artery
  • Re-stenosis of the coronary artery requiring Heart Bypass Surgery

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Alternatives to Coronary Angioplasty

  • Heart Bypass Surgery – This procedure is considered a major surgery and is performed under general anesthesia. In this operation new channels are created to re-route the blood from blocked channels so that the blood supply to the heart muscle is not compromised.
  • Use of clot dissolving drugs or thrombolytic agents – These medications help to burst the clots

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Now or Never

  • Atherosclerosis is a progressive disease. It can affect your arteries supplying blood to your heart, brain, limbs, and other organs of your body. Over time, the inner walls of your arteries become clogged (blocked) with deposits composed of fat, cholesterol, fibrin (a clotting material found in the blood), cellular waste products, and calcium. Accumulation of these materials can cut down the blood supply to your vital organs resulting in either a heart attack (if coronary arteries are obstructed), painful muscle cramping during exercise or even at rest (if a leg artery is obstructed) or stroke (if a neck artery is obstructed). Performing a timely Coronary Angioplasty accompanied with positive life style changes prevents risks of a heart attack and the associated morbidity and mortality. As they say 'a stitch in time saves nine'.

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Decision to have Coronary Angioplasty

  • Dilation of blocked coronary arteries by Coronary Angioplasty is the first step towards restoring your cardiac health. However, it does not cure the problem which is obstruction of your coronary arteries due to formation of atherosclerotic plaques. Coronary Angioplasty accompanied by lifestyle changes can greatly reduce your chances of re-stenosis of coronary arteries or the need of a future Heart Bypass Surgery.

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Keywords: Coronary Artery Disease, Congestive Heart Failure, Arrhythmia, Stroke, Kidney Failure, Lung Collapse, Coronary Arteries, Heart Attack, Ischemic Heart Disease, Diabetes, Hypertension, Atherosclerotic Plaque, Chest Pain, Angina, Atherosclerosis, Cholesterol, Hardened and Blocked Arteries, Healthy Lifestyle

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