What is Angioplasty used for

What is Angioplasty used for?
What is Angioplasty used for?

Coronary arteries, responsible for supplying blood to the heart, can become obstructed due to the accumulation of plaque containing fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. This build-up occurs gradually over time, leading to hardening and narrowing of the coronary arteries. Depending on the degree of narrowing, individuals may or may not experience symptoms such as angina (chest pain or discomfort). If a blood clot forms atop the plaque, it can worsen the blockage, potentially resulting in a heart attack. Angioplasty is a procedure performed to restore blood flow to the heart.

There are two main types of angioplasty:

  • Elective angioplasty: Typically scheduled in advance, elective angioplasty addresses symptoms of angina due to narrowed or blocked coronary arteries.
  • Emergency angioplasty: Conducted urgently, often following a heart attack, emergency angioplasty aims to restore blood flow to the heart promptly. Immediate intervention can minimize damage to heart muscles, influenced by factors such as the size of the affected area and the time elapsed between the onset of symptoms and treatment.

In addition to angioplasty, other treatments for coronary heart disease (CHD) include medications and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). CABG involves surgically grafting a healthy artery or vein from elsewhere in the body to bypass the blocked coronary artery, improving blood flow to the heart.

Angioplasty offers several advantages over CABG, including:

– Avoidance of open-heart surgery
– No need for general anesthesia
– Shorter recovery time and hospital stay

However, angioplasty may not be suitable for all individuals with CHD. In some cases, CABG may be preferred, particularly for patients with severe CHD, blockages in critical arteries, or impaired heart function.