This is the placement of a small flexible catheter to open a blocked artery to the heart.
Coronary (heart) angioplasty is a procedure that involves threading a small flexible tube, called a catheter, into a large blood vessel in the groin. Sometimes, the catheter is inserted into an artery at the wrist. X-rays are used to gently thread the catheter into the arteries that supply the heart (coronary arteries).
A coronary angioplasty may be recommended if you have:
This may not be the procedure of choice for all blockages. Treatment depends on the clinical condition of the patient and the location and severity of the blockages. Blockage of the coronary arteries may be treated with medications, watchful waiting, coronary angioplasty, or surgery called a coronary artery bypass graft. An angioplasty may be done on an urgent basis, such as right after or during a heart attack. If it is a planned procedure, ask your cardiologist why they are suggesting this procedure rather than medication or other less-invasive management.
Coronary angioplasty is performed by a cardiologist in a catheterization laboratory.
If you and your cardiologist agree that coronary angioplasty is the most appropriate treatment for you, tell them about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). Also tell them if you have a seafood allergy or have had problems with any type of dye in the past. Ask about specific instructions you should follow before the procedure. These may include:
If you are a smoker, you should quit. Smoking can interfere with your recovery.
Some benefit plans recommend or require that members receive treatment for certain conditions (including cancer, bariatric surgery, bowel surgery, and heart procedures/surgeries) at a Center of Excellence (COE) facility.
What should I ask my healthcare provider before having an angioplasty.
After your coronary angioplasty, your healthcare provider should provide a description of any problems found during the procedure and what symptoms you should report. You should also understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans. Your cardiologist should also let your primary care physician know what procedure(s) were performed and what the findings were.
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