What Is an Angioplasty?
By Grand Rapids Cardiology
August 30, 2019
Category: Cardiology
Tags: Angioplasty  

Your heart is one of the most important organs in your body, and when your heart is unhealthy your whole body suffers. Heart attack and heart disease are leading causes of death for men and women in America, but there are treatments available.

If you or someone you know has suffered a heart attack, you may have heard of angioplasty. Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI, is here to walk you through the procedure.

What is an Angioplasty?

An angioplasty is a procedure which opens up an artery which has been clogged by fatty plaque. Plaque can build up and hinder the flow of blood and oxygen to vital organs. An artery can become narrowed or blocked during heart attack.

How is the procedure done?

Your Grand Rapids, MI, cardiologist uses a catheter inserted in the groin or arm to weave through a blood vessel to access the blocked area. At the end of the catheter is a balloon-like attachment which when inflated will force the clog out. Once deflated, the balloon will be pulled out with the catheter.

Your cardiologist may also insert an expandable tube called a stent during the procedure to ensure the artery stays clear and there is no risk of plaque impeding the space.

Following the procedure, which usually takes around an hour, you will need time to recover and have your vitals monitored. The area of catheter insertion will be bandaged and watched for bleeding overnight in the hospital.

What happens after the procedure?

You will be required to rest for a few days post procedure, with heavy lifting and exercise off limits for up to a week. Your Grand Rapids, MI, specialist may prescribe a blood thinner to be taken continuously for anywhere from one month to one year based on whether your angioplasty required a stent or if you have a high risk of bleeding.

You may also asked to participate in cardiac rehabilitation, during which you will be coached on health eating and exercise.

Heart attacks are scary, but an angioplasty is not a procedure to be feared. Relatively quick and very effective, an angioplasty can save your life.

If you have questions about heart health and treatment, call Grand Rapids Cardiology at (616) 717-5141.