Angioplasty is an invasive procedure whereby a narrow coronary artery is treated with a stent (a mesh-like tube that expands to accommodate the narrowed artery).

How a Stent Works

When a stent is inserted, a stent tube (usually referred to as a balloon catheter) is placed in the narrowed part of the coronary artery, which is then inflated by a pump.

Angioplasty is the first option of treatment in case of a heart attack can be performed quickly after its occurrence. The main problem associated with angioplasty is that it can cause damage to the heart valve and thereby lead to permanent disability. The procedure is generally performed to correct stenosis. Stenosis is the narrowing or blockage of arteries, such as the carotid arteries.

After the stents are placed, they are covered by a protective stent bag (stent cuff) and the patient can go home. The procedure is usually done under general anesthesia and the recovery period is not too long. The patient can experience minor discomfort and bruising but these should subside within a couple of weeks. The symptoms are usually mild to moderate pain or swelling around the site of stent insertion. In some patients, the stents might even cause an increase in heart rate and the patient might also feel dizzy.

This procedure does not affect the arterial walls at any stage and does not make them weak or cause the arteries to constrict. Instead, the procedure is used as an outpatient procedure. This procedure should not be considered for patients who are suffering from a medical condition like heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes. Patients who have had a history of myocardial infarction should also avoid this procedure as they might experience increased risk of complications.

The procedure is also suitable for patients who cannot tolerate the feeling of a balloon insertion. Patients should therefore discuss the benefits and risks with their cardiologist before making an appointment.

In some cases, the narrowed coronary artery will not respond to angiotensitometry or other tests.

How a Stent Works

If this is the case, angioplasty may be the only solution. The procedure has been known to fix a large number of cardiac problems including congestive heart failure, left ventricular hypertrophy, coronary atherosclerosis, ventricular fibrillation, and arrhythmia.

Angioplasty has many benefits but it also has some drawbacks. The major disadvantage is that the procedure is expensive. The procedure is therefore not recommended for low-risk patients. Patients with unstable heart conditions are always the first patients to be operated on and the cost of the procedure is normally high.

Angioplasty has the potential to cause damage to the artery wall. In addition, if the stent has been incorrectly placed, the stents might rupture and might cause more damage.

The artery is usually repaired by cutting it with a very sharp instrument or cauterizing it by injecting a solution through the stent. When this procedure is performed in the correct manner, the stent will not rupture, nor will it be punctured.

Patients often complain that the stitches look ugly and that they are uncomfortable after the procedure. This is because the stitches are made of silicone. The silicone is also one of the main reasons for the high price of the procedure. The most common complaint is that the procedure requires a hospital stay of three days.

Some doctors suggest that if you do not want to have a stent inserted, you should consider having a bypass instead. A bypass can widen the arteries but the procedure does not fix the problem of a narrowed or collapsed artery.

A bypass can be performed under general anesthesia. You will be awake during the procedure, so your diet cannot be affected. Patients should however be informed about the dangers of a bypass so that they can decide if they are suitable for their lifestyle.

How a Stent Works

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