What Is a Coronary Angioplasty?
A coronary angioplasty is used to open narrowed or blocked arteries caused by plaque build up. GwinnettMedicalCenter uses angioplasty to relieve the symptoms of coronary artery disease by improving blood flow to your heart.
Before Your Angioplasty
- Before your procedure, your doctor will advise you on when to stop eating or drinking before the procedure.
- Your doctor will also advise you on which medicines you should and shouldn’t take on the day of the angioplasty.
During Your Angioplasty
- A guide wire is inserted through the guiding catheter (a thin, flexible tube) and moved to the narrow spot in your artery. Your doctor tracks its movement with an angiogram, a special kind of X-ray.
- A balloon-tipped catheter is inserted through the guiding catheter and threaded over the guide wire. It is positioned at the narrow part of the artery.
- The balloon is inflated and deflated several times to compress the plaque against the artery wall. You may feel angina (chest pain) when the balloon is inflated. Tell your doctor if you do.
- The balloon is deflated and the catheter and guide wire are removed. The artery is now open, and blood flow to the heart muscle increases.
After Your Angioplasty
- You’ll need to remain lying down for 6–12 hours.
- If the insertion site was in your groin, you may be required to lie down with your leg still for several hours.
- A nurse will check the insertion site and your blood pressure. Before going home, you may have a chest X-ray and other tests.