Coronary Angioplasty

(Balloon Angioplasty; Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty [PTCA]; Percutaneous Coronary Revascularization )

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Definition

A coronary angioplasty is a procedure to open an artery in the heart that has become narrowed. This allows better blood flow through the artery and to the heart muscle. It is often done with a balloon that is passed through a special catheter (tube).
Balloon Angioplasty
IMAGE
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Reasons for Procedure

Atherosclerosis is a disease of the arteries. Cholesterol and fatty deposits build up on the walls of the arteries. This restricts blood flow. When this buildup happens in the heart, it may lead to a heart attack . Lifestyle changes and medications can be used to treat atherosclerosis. If they are not enough, an angioplasty may be done.

Possible Complications

If you are planning to have an angioplasty, your doctor will review a list of possible complications which may include:
  • Bleeding at the point of catheter insertion
  • Damage to the walls of arteries, causing you to need more procedures or surgery
  • Heart attack or abnormal heart beats called arrhythmia
  • Allergic reaction to x-ray dye
  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Stroke
  • Temporary kidney failure
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

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