Angioplasty: Types, Procedure, Recovery & Cost

Angioplasty is a medical procedure aimed at treating narrowed or blocked blood vessels, mainly arteries, in different parts of the body. The main objective of angioplasty is to enhance blood flow and bring back normal circulation by expanding the affected vessel.

Angioplasty is used to treat various conditions such as coronary artery disease (CAD), peripheral artery disease (PAD), and carotid artery disease. The procedure is carried out in different parts of the body, including the heart, legs, neck, and kidneys, depending on the location and severity of the blockage.

Angioplasty Procedure

Angioplasty Procedure Types & Indications

Angioplasty is indicated in various medical conditions where there is a narrowing or blockage in the arteries. Some common types and indications for angioplasty include:

  • Coronary Artery Disease (CAD): Angioplasty is often used to treat coronary artery blockages that cause chest pain (angina) or to prevent heart attacks. It is known as Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) or Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
  • Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD): Angioplasty is used to open narrowed or blocked arteries in the legs, improving blood flow and relieving symptoms like leg pain and cramping. It is known as Peripheral artery Angioplasty
  • Carotid Artery Disease: Angioplasty may be used to open narrowed carotid arteries in the neck in order to lower the chances of stroke in individuals who are at a greater risk for stroke.
  • Renal Artery Stenosis: Angioplasty can be employed to treat narrowing of the arteries supplying the kidneys, which can help manage high blood pressure and improve kidney function. It is known as Renal artery angioplasty
  • Atherosclerosis: When atherosclerosis causes blockages in arteries throughout the body, angioplasty can be used to restore blood flow and prevent complications.
  • Acute Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack): In some cases of heart attack, angioplasty with stent placement is an emergency treatment where it restore blood flow to the heart by unblocking a coronary artery muscle.
  • Restenosis: Angioplasty can be performed as a treatment for restenosis, which is the re-narrowing of an artery that was previously treated with angioplasty or stent placement.

Purpose of Angioplasty Procedure

The purpose of angioplasty is to improve blood flow in narrowed or blocked arteries, which occurs due to various medical conditions such as atherosclerosis, plaque buildup, or other vascular diseases. By widening the affected arteries, angioplasty aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Relieve Symptoms: Angioplasty can alleviate symptoms caused by reduced blood flow, such as chest pain (angina), leg pain or cramping during exercise (intermittent claudication), and shortness of breath.

  • Reduce the Risk of Complications: For any individuals with these conditions such as coronary artery disease (CAD), peripheral artery disease (PAD), and carotid artery disease, angioplasty is a procedure that can reduce risks of heart attacks, strokes and other severe complications related to blocked or narrowed arteries.

  • Improve Organ Function: For conditions like renal artery stenosis, where the arteries supplying the kidneys are narrowed, angioplasty can enhance kidney function and help manage high blood pressure.

  • Emergency Treatment for Heart Attacks: In the case of acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), emergency angioplasty can rapidly restore blood flow to the heart muscle, minimizing damage and improving the chances of recovery.

  • Enhance Quality of Life: By restoring blood flow, angioplasty can improve a person's overall quality of life by reducing symptoms and enabling them to engage in daily activities more comfortably.

  • Avoid More Invasive Procedures: Angioplasty is generally less invasive than traditional open surgery. By using a catheter-based approach, it avoids the need for large incisions and can often be performed on an outpatient basis, leading to faster recovery times and reduced hospital stays.


Angioplasty: How is it done?

During an angioplasty surgery, also known as percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA), a medical procedure is performed to treat narrowed or blocked blood vessels, usually arteries. The goal towards angioplasty is to improve blood flow by widening the narrowed or blocked artery. Here's an overview of what happens during angioplasty surgery:

  • Preparation: The patient will be prepared for procedure, which includes cleaning and sterilizing the area where the doctor will access the blood vessel. This is typically done in the groin area, but other access points like the wrist might be used.
  • Anesthesia: Local anesthesia is conducted to numb the area where the procedure will take place. In some cases, light sedation might also be given to help the patient relax.
  • Guidewire Insertion: A thin, flexible guidewire is inserted through a small incision into the blood vessel. The guidewire is carefully threaded through the blood vessel, past the narrowed or blocked area.
  • Catheter Insertion: Over the guidewire, a special catheter with a deflated balloon at its tip is threaded to the site of the blockage.
  • Balloon Inflation: Once the catheter is in position, the balloon is inflated. The inflation of the balloon pushes against the plaque or fatty deposits in the artery, widening the artery and restoring blood flow.
  • Stent Placement (if needed): If the artery is severely narrowed or there's a risk of re-narrowing (restenosis), a stent may be placed. A stent is a small mesh tube that helps keep the artery open. The stent is placed over the balloon and will expand along with the balloon when it's inflated.
  • Balloon Deflation and Catheter Removal: After the balloon has been inflated for a short period to widen the artery, it's deflated, and the catheter is carefully removed.
  • Monitoring and Recovery: The patient is closely monitored for a short period after the procedure to ensure stability. If all is well, the patient may be moved to a recovery area.
  • Closure of Access Site: If the groin was used as the access site, pressure might be applied to the area to stop any bleeding. In some cases, a closure device may be used to seal the access site.
  • Post-Procedure Care: The patient is usually observed for a few hours to ensure there are no complications. If all goes well, the patient may be allowed to go home the same day or might need to stay overnight for observation.

Who Will Treat Angioplasty Procedure?

Angioplasty is performed by a specialized medical professional known as an interventional cardiologist. Interventional cardiologists are cardiologists with additional training and expertise in performing minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat cardiovascular conditions.


Preparing for Angioplasty Procedure

Preparing for an angioplasty procedure involves several essential steps to ensure that the process goes very smoothly and safely. Here are some general guidelines to help you prepare:

  • Consultation with Healthcare Provider: Prior to the procedure, you will undergo a comprehensive consultation with your interventional cardiologist. They will go over your medical history, conduct a physical examination, and may require further tests or imaging to evaluate your cardiovascular health.

  • Medications: Inform your healthcare provider about the medications which are currently taking, including prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and supplements. Some medications may need to be adjusted or temporarily stopped before the procedure, particularly blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants) and antiplatelet drugs like aspirin or clopidogrel.

  • Fasting: You will likely be instructed to fast for a specific period before the angioplasty procedure. Typically you should follow avoiding like eating or drinking atleast 6 to 8 hours before the procedure.

  • Allergies: Let your healthcare team know if you have any allergies, especially to iodine or contrast dye, as these substances may be used during the procedure.

  • Personal Items: Wear loose, comfortable clothing to the hospital on the day of the procedure. Leave valuable items at home, or have a family member or friend keep them safe during your hospital stay.

  • Follow Pre-Procedure Instructions: Your healthcare provider will provide specific pre-procedure instructions, such as when to stop eating and drinking, which medications to take or avoid, and other relevant details. To achieve the best possible outcome, it is essential to carefully adhere to these instructions.

  • Understand the Procedure: Talk to your interventional cardiologist about the angioplasty procedure, its risks, benefits, and any alternative treatment options available. Being well-informed can help you feel more comfortable and confident about the procedure.

  • Arrange Post-Procedure Care: Plan for some rest and recovery time after the procedure. Ask your healthcare provider about any specific care instructions or restrictions on activities following the angioplasty.


Recovery after Angioplasty Procedure

The process of recovery after an angioplasty procedure involves several stages and steps. Here's what you can generally expect during your recovery:

  • Immediate Post-Procedure Care: After the angioplasty, you will be taken to a recovery area where medical team will closely observe your vital signs and the site of catheter insertion (groin or wrist). You may be required to lie flat for a few hours to prevent bleeding from the insertion site.
  • Hospital Stay: Most angioplasty procedures are performed as an outpatient procedures, meaning you can go home the same day or within 24 hours. However, in some cases, a short hospital stay may be necessary for further observation, especially if there were complications during the procedure.
  • Pain Management: Discomfort at the catheter insertion site is common. Your healthcare team will provide pain medications or other measures to manage any discomfort or soreness.
  • Wound Care: If the catheter was inserted through the groin, you may have a small puncture site that requires care. Follow each instructions provided by your healthcare team to prevent infection.
  • Medication Management: You will be prescribed medications to manage your condition, reduce the risk of blood clots, and control other underlying health issues. Take all medications as instructed by your healthcare provider.
  • Physical Activity: Initially, you may be advised to limit physical activity, but gradually, you can resume light activities as recommended by your doctor. Avoid vigorous activities and heavy lifting during the early stages of recovery.
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation: Your healthcare provider may recommend enrolling in a cardiac rehabilitation program. Cardiac rehab includes supervised exercise, education on heart-healthy lifestyle changes, and emotional support to aid in recovery.
  • Dietary Changes: Follow a heart-healthy diet that is low in saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium.


Lifestyle Changes after Angioplasty Procedure

Following angioplasty surgery, adopting certain lifestyle changes is crucial for a healthy recovery, reducing the risk of future blockages, and enhancing overall cardiovascular well-being. Here are some recommended adjustments to consider:

Dietary Adjustments:

  • Heart-Healthy Eating: Prioritize a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins (like fish, poultry, and legumes), and healthy fats (found in nuts, seeds, and olive oil).
  • Control Sodium Intake: Limit salt consumption to manage blood pressure and minimize fluid retention.
  • Cut Back on Harmful Fats: Reduce intake of saturated and trans fats commonly found in fried foods, processed snacks, and fatty meats.
  • Moderate Sugar Consumption: Minimize added sugars in your diet to regulate blood sugar levels.

Physical Activity:

  • Incorporate regular physical activity based on medical advice. Begin with low-impact exercises, like walking, and gradually increase intensity and duration.
  • Aiming for a minimum of one and a half an hour of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week and engaging in muscle-strengthening activities for at least two days is recommended.
  • Always consult your physician before initiating a new exercise regimen.

Quit Smoking:

  • If you smoke, quitting is paramount for heart health. Smoking damages blood vessels and elevates the risk of heart disease.
  • Seek assistance from healthcare professionals, support groups, or cessation programs to aid in your journey to quit.

Adherence to Medications:

  • Adhere to prescribed medications as instructed by your healthcare provider. This may include antiplatelet drugs, blood pressure medications, cholesterol-lowering agents, and more.
  • Do not alter or discontinue medications without consulting your doctor.

Stress Management:

  • Embrace stress-reduction techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or mindfulness, to effectively manage stress.
  • Allocate time for activities you enjoy and prioritize relaxation.

Weight Maintenance:

  • Attain and sustain a healthy weight through balanced nutrition and regular physical activity. Shedding excess weight eases strain on the heart and enhances cardiovascular health.

Moderate Alcohol Consumption:

  • If you consume alcohol, do so moderately. Typically, this entails up to two drinks per day for men and up to one drink per day for women.

Scheduled Check-Ups:

  • Attend regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare instructor to track progress, adjust medications if necessary, and assess overall health.

Hydration:

  • Maintain adequate hydration by drinking water consistently throughout the day.

Prioritize Sleep:

  • Aim daily 7-9 hours of quality sleep nightly. Insufficient sleep can detrimentally affect heart health.

Advanced Angioplasty at Medicover Hospitals

Medicover Hospitals is one of the leading angioplasty hospitals. The Cardiology section provides a wide range of heart operations, including angioplasty surgery. The facility is outfitted with cutting-edge technology and The Next Generation Cath Lab for exceptional interventional cardiac, electrophysiology, neuro, and vascular performance. Our cardiologists are among the best in India and have extensive experience with angioplasty procedures.


Angioplasty Surgery Cost

The cost of angioplasty varies depending on a variety of factors such as the procedure performed, the doctor's expertise, the patient's health condition, and many others. In India, however, the average cost of angioplasty ranges from 75,000 to 2 lakhs.



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Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is angioplasty?

Angioplasty is a medical procedure which treats a narrowed or blocked arteries by inserting a catheter with a balloon at the tip to widen the artery and restore blood flow.

2. How is angioplasty performed?

During angioplasty, a catheter is inserted into the narrowed artery, and a balloon is inflated to compress the blockage and widen the artery. In few cases, a stent may also be placed to keep the artery open.

3. Is angioplasty a major surgery?

Angioplasty is considered a minimally invasive procedure and is not classified as a major surgery. It is typically performed in a catheterization lab and does not require large incisions.

4. Is angioplasty painful?

The procedure is usually not painful, as local anesthesia is used to numb the insertion site. However, some patients may experience mild discomfort or pressure during the inflation of the balloon.

5. How long does angioplasty take?

The procedure itself usually takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour. However, the overall time spent in the hospital may be longer, including preparation and recovery.

6. Can angioplasty be performed in all arteries?

Angioplasty can be performed in various arteries, including those in the heart, legs, neck, and kidneys. The suitability of the procedure depends on the location and severity of the blockage.

7. What are the risks of angioplasty?

While angioplasty is generally safe, there are some risks involved, such as bleeding, infection, blood vessel damage, allergic reactions, and rare instances of heart attack or stroke.

8. How long is the recovery period after angioplasty?

The recovery period varies from person to person, but most patients can resume normal activities within a few days to a week after the procedure.

9. Can I eat normally after angioplasty?

Yes, after angioplasty, you can resume a regular diet. However, it's essential to follow a heart-healthy diet with low-fat and low-sodium foods to promote better cardiovascular health.

10. Can I exercise after angioplasty?

Yes, regular exercise is encouraged after angioplasty. Your healthcare provider will advise about your physical activity based on your individual condition.

11. How long will the stent remain in place after angioplasty?

Stents are usually designed to remain permanently in the artery. Over time, the stent becomes covered by the body's cells, reducing the risk of restenosis (re-narrowing).

12. Can I drive after angioplasty?

Most patients can resume driving within a few days to a week after the procedure, depending on individual circumstances and the use of sedation during the angioplasty.

13. Can I travel after angioplasty?

Traveling is generally allowed after angioplasty, but it's essential to discuss any upcoming travel plans with your healthcare provider, especially if you need to take long flights or travel to remote areas.

14. Will I need to take medications after angioplasty?

Yes, you will likely need to take medications as prescribed by your doctor, including antiplatelet drugs, blood thinners, and medications to manage other cardiovascular conditions.

15. Can angioplasty cure heart disease?

Angioplasty can treat specific blockages and improve blood flow, but it does not cure heart disease. Lifestyle changes and adherence to prescribed medications are essential for managing heart disease effectively.

16. How do I prepare for an angioplasty procedure?

To prepare for angioplasty, your healthcare provider will specify instructions, which may include fasting before the procedure, stopping certain medications, and discussing your medical history and allergies.

17. Can angioplasty be performed on patients with diabetes?

Yes, angioplasty can be performed on patients with diabetes. However, diabetic patients may need extra monitoring and management of their blood sugar levels before, during, and after the procedure.

18. What is the success rate of angioplasty?

The success rate of angioplasty varies depending on the location also on the severity of the blockage. Overall, it is a highly successful procedure with a high rate of immediate improvement in blood flow.

19. Will I be awake during the angioplasty procedure?

You may receive local anesthesia and/or mild sedation to keep you relaxed during the procedure. Some patients may remain awake but feel minimal discomfort, while others may experience drowsiness or light sleep.

20. How soon can I return to work after angioplasty?

The time to return to work varies based on individual factors such as the nature of your job, your overall health, and the type of sedation used during the procedure. Many patients can return to work within a few days to a week after angioplasty.