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Balloon Angioplasty

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​​​Balloon angioplasty is a procedure to improve blood flow to your heart.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Restricted blood flow is a symptom of coronary heart disease. Your Marshfield Heart Care Specialist diagnoses and treats conditions of heart disease.

This procedure will relieve the symptoms, but does not cure coronary​ heart disease.​

​​

Your doctor will talk to you about your heart problem and explain how angioplasty can help. Angioplasty relieves symptoms of coronary artery disease by improving blood flow to your heart.

 

Cross section of artery showing balloon angioplasty.
The balloon compresses the plaque against the artery wall.
Cross section of artery with plaque showing compressed plaque after balloon angioplasty.
Blood flow to the heart muscle increases.

During the Procedure

  • The skin at the insertion site (usually the groin) is numbed with a local anesthetic. A needle puncture is made so the catheter can be inserted. 

  • 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 on 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 catheters and guide wire are removed. The artery is now open, and blood flow to the heart muscle increases.

After the Procedure

  • Your doctor or nurse will tell you how long to lie down and keep the insertion site still.

  • If the insertion site was in your groin, you may need 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.

  • You usually remain in the hospital for several hours or overnight.

Call Your Doctor

Contact your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • You have angina (chest pain).

  • The insertion site has pain, swelling, redness, bleeding, or drainage.

  • You have severe pain, coldness, or a bluish color in the leg or arm that held the catheter.

  • You experience blood in your urine, black or tarry stools, or any other kind of bleeding.

  • You have a fever over 101°F (38.3°C)

 Cardiac Catheterization

What Do You Know About Preventing Heart Disease?

You can take steps to reduce your risk for heart disease. Find out more about preventing heart disease by taking this quiz.

1. Which of these is a cause of heart disease?
2. What can happen if blood flow in an artery is blocked or greatly restricted?
3. Three risk factors for heart disease can't be controlled. Which of these are they?
4. What is considered "high blood pressure"?
5. Why can smoking lead to heart disease?
6. How much exercise is recommended to help prevent heart disease?
7. Your risk for heart disease rises if your body mass index (BMI) is more than 24.9. Why?
8. Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol is considered safe for your heart. What can happen if you drink more?
9. Which of these is a classic symptom of a heart attack?