Coronary Angioplasty - Signs, Symptoms, Treatment

Coronary Angioplasty Details

Your heart’s arteries can become blocked or narrowed from a buildup of cholesterol, cells or other substances (plaque). This can reduce blood flow to your heart and cause chest discomfort. Sometimes a blood clot can suddenly form or get worse and completely block blood flow, leading to a heart attack. Angioplasty opens blocked arteries andrestores normal blood flow to your heart muscle. It is not major surgery.

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Before Coronary Angioplasty

You'll receive instructions about eating or drinking before angioplasty. Typically, you have to stop eating or drinking six to eight hours before the procedure. Your doctor may instruct you to stop taking certain medications before angioplasty, such as certain diabetes medications.

How it is performed

  1. A doctor numbs a spot on your groin or arm and inserts a small tube (catheter) into an artery.
  2. The catheter is threaded through the arterial system until it gets into a coronary (heart) artery.
  3. Watching on a special X-ray screen, the doctor moves the catheter into the artery. Next, a very thin wire is threaded through the catheter and across the blockage. Over this wire, a catheter with a thin, expandable balloon on the end is passed to the blockage.
  4. The balloon is inflated. It pushes plaque to the side and stretches the artery open, so blood can flow more easily. This may be done more than once.
  5. In many patients a collapsed wire mesh tube (stent) mounted on a special balloon, is moved over the wire to the blocked area.
  6. As the balloon is inflated, it opens the stent against the artery walls. The stent locks in this position and helps keep the artery open.
  7. The balloon and catheters are taken out. Now the artery has been opened, and your heart will get the blood it needs.


You'll probably remain hospitalized one day while your heart is monitored and your medications are adjusted. You should be able to return to work or your normal routine the week after angioplasty. Avoid strenuous exercise and lifting heavy objects for several days afterward. Ask your doctor or nurse about other restrictions in activity. Full recovery from traditional CABG may take 6 to 12 weeks or more.

Potential Risks

The most common angioplasty risks include:

  • Re-narrowing of your artery (restenosis).
  • Blood clots / Bleeding. You may have bleeding in your leg or arm where a catheter was inserted.
  • Heart attack. Though rare, you may have a heart attack during the procedure.
  • Coronary artery damage. Your coronary artery may be torn or ruptured (dissected) during the procedure. These complications may require emergency bypass surgery.
  • Kidney problems. The dye used during angioplasty and stent placement can cause kidney damage, especially in people who already have kidney problems.
  • Stroke. During angioplasty, a stroke can occur if plaques break loose when the catheters are being threaded through the aorta.
  • Abnormal heart rhythms. During the procedure, the heart may beat too quickly or too slowly. These heart rhythm problems are usually short-lived, but sometimes medications or a temporary pacemaker is needed.

Cost for Coronary Angioplasty

India from $3,000
Turkey from $4,500
US from $30,000
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