Most people are aware of the importance of taking care of their heart, yet few are familiar with the specific medical procedure that can keep it healthy, angioplasty. In this article, we will discuss what angioplasty is, how it works, and its benefits to improve your heart health.
What is Angioplasty?
Angioplasty, also known as a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), is a medical procedure performed to improve blood flow in the coronary arteries. The procedure is done by inserting a small, balloon-tipped catheter into the coronary artery and inflating it to widen the artery, which improves blood flow to the heart muscle and lowers the risk for life-threatening heart problems.
How Does Angioplasty Work?
The procedure starts when the doctor makes a small incision in the skin and inserts a catheter into the artery. At the tip of the catheter is a small balloon, which is then inflated to widen the artery. Once the balloon has been inflated, a stent, or a metal mesh tube, is placed in the artery to hold it open. The stent helps to prevent the artery from narrowing or closing again. The entire procedure is done under the guidance of x-rays and a computer to ensure that it is done safely and effectively.
Benefits of Angioplasty
• Improving blood flow to the heart muscle, which helps to reduce the risk of a heart attack.
• Reducing the symptoms of chest pain and shortness of breath.
• Lowering the risk of heart failure, stroke, and other serious heart-related conditions.
• Reducing the need for medications to treat angina and other heart-related conditions.
• Improving the quality of life for those with chronic heart disease.
Risks of Angioplasty
Although angioplasty is generally a safe procedure, it does come with a few risks. Some of the most common risks associated with angioplasty include:
• Bleeding or infection at the site of the incision.
• Damage to the artery or other blood vessels.
• Clotting of the stent.
• A possible heart attack or stroke.
Recovery from Angioplasty
Recovery from angioplasty usually takes about one to two weeks and is dependent on the condition of the patient before the procedure. During recovery, it is important to follow any instructions that your doctor gives you, including taking medications as prescribed, getting plenty of rest, and avoiding strenuous activities for a period of time.
Preventing Problems with Angioplasty
Even after having angioplasty, your risk for heart-related problems will still be present. In order to prevent potential problems from arising, it is important to make lifestyle changes that can help to maintain heart health, such as:
• Eating a balanced and healthy diet
• Exercising regularly
• Quitting smoking
• Limiting alcohol intake
• Managing stress levels
• Controlling your weight
• Maintaining a healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels
Angioplasty is a medical procedure that is done when arteries narrow or block to improve blood flow and promote better heart health. Knowing what angioplasty is and how it works is important for those looking to maintain or improve their heart health. It is also important to remember that lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and smoking cessation, can help to reduce the risk of developing heart related problems even after angioplasty.
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