Coronary Angioplasty is a procedure to widen narrowed or obstructed arteries or veins, helping the patients who suffer from coronary artery disease. It can, however, be a life-saving procedure for those who have suffered a heart attack and need help to maintain adequate blood flow, and hence, improving the quality of their lives. This procedure is often done in an emergency for such patients. Another important factor to keep in mind is that an Angioplasty should be performed within 12 hours after one has suffered a heart attack, as this is considered to be ideal.
To keep coronary arteries open and support the walls of the artery, doctors often implant stents. These stents are effective in ensuring adequate flow of blood, thereby keeping chest pain at bay. Metal implants are permanent, and body’s cells grow around to incorporate the device into the walls of the arteries. In minimal cases, stented artery gets re-blocked or stent gets fractured.
To ensure that the angioplasty and stenting improve the quality of life, the patient should make certain lifestyle changes and reduce as many risk factors as possible. Typically doctors recommend:
- Maintaining an active lifestyle
- Managing cholesterol levels by eating healthy diet
- Quit smoking
- Managing diabetes
- Religiously following the medical plan prescribed by the doctor
- Take good diet and food after angioplasty
For most of the patients, these changes help lead a more comfortable life by:
- Reducing life-altering chest pain
- Eliminating fatigue and shortness of breath
- Channeling better blood flow to the heart
- Reducing heart muscle damage caused by a heart attack
According to Dr. S K Gupta, the life expectancy of the patient after angioplasty and stenting depends primarily on the underlying coronary artery disease, the age of the patient and medical condition at the time of the procedure. Generally, for a patient who is young and has never experienced a heart attack, one can expect a long and active lifespan. On the other hand, for a patient who is older than 70 years of age, has suffered a heart attack earlier and has other serious medical conditions, will have a lower life expectancy. Having mentioned this, the most important reason for angioplasty and implanting a stent is to ensure an adequate supply of blood to the heart muscles, thus preventing other complications. Angioplasty can dramatically better the quality of patient’s life even towards the end of the lifespan.
Dr. S. K. Gupta is an Interventional Cardiologist at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi. He is Graduate of Meerut Medical College and super specialized in cardiology from Delhi University.
Dr. S K Gupta has over 35 years of rich professional experience in his field. He specializes in Interventional Cardiology that includes Coronary Angiography and Angioplasty, Electrophysiology study, Pacemaker Implantation, Valvular Dilatation, Valvuloplasty and procedures for Closure of holes in Heart. Dr. Gupta has performed more than 10,000 Angiography and 5000 Angioplasty procedures. Dr. Gupta has been associated with many Hospitals like Chennai Railway Hospital, Batra Hospital New Delhi and presently in Apollo Hospital, New Delhi
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