Coronary angioplasty and stenting, also referred to as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), is a medical procedure done to improve cardiovascular health and increase the blood supply to the heart.
What is coronary artery disease?
Coronary artery disease, also called CAD in medical terminology, refers to a condition where the coronary arteries are narrowed due to fat and cholesterol build-up.
The narrow arteries find it difficult to maintain a sufficient blood supply to the heart, sometimes blocking it completely. Complete blockage of the artery can lead to heart failure and heart attacks.
Causes of coronary artery disease
Some of the common causes of coronary artery disease are:
- Persistent high blood pressure
- Resistance to insulin
- Excessive smoking
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Sedentary lifestyle and obesity
- Family history of heart diseases
Symptoms of coronary artery disease
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is called the silent killer. Many people do not experience any major symptoms until a fatal heart attack. However, some symptoms which can indicate a blockage in the coronary artery are:
- Troubled breathing and shortness of breath
- Discomfort or pain in the chest
- Dizziness and light-headedness
- Persistent nausea
- Weakness and tiredness
- Heart and chest palpitations
- Cold sweats
Treatment for coronary artery disease
Coronary artery disease can be treated medically and surgically.
- Blood thinners
- Cholesterol drugs
- Calcium channel blockers
- Coronary angioplasty and stenting
- Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)
What is coronary angioplasty?
Coronary angioplasty or stenting is done to treat coronary artery disease surgically by opening the clogged arteries. Once the clogged arteries are cleared, normal blood flow to the heart can be restored.
During the surgical process, a long thin tube called a catheter is placed in the blood vessel. There is a balloon inside the catheter, which is inflated once it is positioned at the narrow area of the coronary artery.
The inflation helps release the blockage and allows blood to pass through at a normal rate.
What is coronary artery bypass graft surgery?
Coronary artery bypass graft surgery, referred to as CABG and stenting in medical terminology, is also a surgical process to treat coronary artery disease. However, in this process, instead of using a catheter to treat the blockage, a healthy blood vessel is used to restore the flow of blood.
Coronary artery bypass graft procedure steps are not very complicated.
During the surgical process, a healthy blood vessel is retrieved from another body part of the patient. It can be retrieved from the legs, arms, or chest. The healthy blood vessel is then connected to the blocked artery creating a new route for the blood to reach the heart.
Blood no longer has to pass through the blocker artery to reach the heart.
Coronary artery bypass graft complications
Some possible complications and risks associated with coronary artery bypass graft surgery are:
- Excessive bleeding during the surgery
- Blood clots cause further heart complications
- Complete heart failure
- Infection at the site of the incision
- Shortness of breath
- Failure of the bypass
- Kidney failure
- Lung Failure
Coronary artery bypass graft recovery
After the completion of the surgery, the patient will not be allowed to go home immediately. They will have to stay in the hospital for a few more days for close observation. The blood pressure, breathing rate, oxygen level, etc., will be closely monitored to ensure there are no post-op complications.
Sometimes immediately after the surgery, patients are not stable enough to breathe on their own. Under such circumstances, a breathing tube connected to a ventilator is put in the throat. This helps normalize the breathing rate until the patient is stable enough to breath independent of the ventilator.
During the recovery process, it is advisable to make some lifestyle changes and follow some precautionary remedies.
- Do not indulge in smoking and alcohol consumption. The nicotine in cigarettes can tighten the blood vessels and the bypass graft.
- Manage blood sugar levels by monitoring the intake of sweet items like desserts, sweet fruits, carbonated drinks, etc.
- Start eating healthy and incorporate fruits and vegetables into the diet.
- Maintain a balanced body weight and start exercising regularly.
- Manage stress levels by avoiding exhausting tasks like long durations of work, irregular sleeping patterns, untimely eating, etc.
- Start taking nutrient and vitamin supplements.
- Incorporate omega-3 fatty acids into the diet. Use fish oil, flaxseed oil, canola oil, soyabean oil, etc.
If you or your loved ones suffer from heart complications like coronary artery disease, you can contact us at the CK Birla Hospital. We have seasoned professionals to guide you for the right treatment to manage your coronary artery disease.
We treat each patient with utmost care while following all the necessary safety and international clinical protocols. Coronary angioplasty and stenting are fairly common and frequent procedures. With our expert guidance, you or your loved one will be in great hands. Visit us at the CK Birla Hospital or book an appointment with our cardiologist Dr Sanjeeva Kumar Gupta Get in touch right now!