Are you suffering from heart disease and searching for the best treatment? Some heart procedures can help you to feel better and improve your quality of life, while others may be needed to manage your heart disease.
A cardiologist can perform these heart treatments on patients with serious heart issues. It is usually done when the patient’s risk of having a heart attack is higher than usual or if the medication isn’t working. These different types of procedures can improve heart function and decrease the risk of heart failure.
Angioplasty is a widely used heart treatment option to open narrowed or blocked coronary arteries due to underlying atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). It uses an inflatable balloon-tipped catheter to dispense the plaque buildup that blocks an artery.
During a coronary angioplasty, a cardiologist uses a special X-ray procedure to find blockages in the arteries that supply blood to your heart. Then, a thin guide wire is threaded through the sheath toward the area of your heart where your coronary artery is blocked.
Once your doctor gets the catheter into the right spot, he or she injects a dye through it to help see the blockage in X-ray images. Next, a balloon is inflated on the end of the catheter to displace the plaque or clot blocking your artery.
Signs when Angioplasty is Required
Angioplasty is mostly done in emergencies to repair the blocked pathway of blood so that the patient receives enough blood flow to their heart. Let’s see some signs.
- Medications do not improve or open up the blockage.
- Chest discomfort worsens day by day.
- Only one heart artery is blocked.
Most people recover from heart treatments like angioplasty in the hospital. Still, they must not drive or lift heavy objects for at least a week afterwards as they have sedative drugs in their system that can cause dizziness and sleepiness. They also need to drink plenty of fluids to flush their body of the contrast dye that doctors use.
In a stent procedure, a tube called a stent is placed inside a blood vessel or passageway in your body to keep it open. This kind of heart treatment is used to widen arteries or passageways leading to the heart. Still, it can also open a narrowed airway, bile ducts, ureters, urethra, or the oesophagus.
The catheter (a flexible tube) is placed into your artery, usually through an incision in your groin or wrist. Liquid contrast dye is injected to help the doctor see the blocked artery, and then X-ray images are taken to ensure the catheter is in the correct position.
When the catheter is correctly positioned, the doctor may insert a balloon inflated into the blocked artery to widen it(similar to an Angioplasty). This opens the artery, squashing fatty deposits and allowing blood to pass freely. A stent (a tube-shaped piece of metal) is then inserted over the balloon and left in place to keep the artery open. This procedure is usually commonplace practice.
Signs when Stent Placement is Required
Heart treatments such as stent placement are used to relieve blocked arteries permanently. In this procedure, a small metal-like stent or mesh is placed in blocked heart arteries to repair them so blood passes through them. Like pacemaker implantation, stent placement helps the heart get enough blood and oxygen. If a person experiences tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, or chest pain, it is important to visit a cardiologist immediately, as these signs may indicate the need for stent placement.
Recovery from an angioplasty with stenting is generally quick and easy, but you must follow your doctor’s instructions before taking any medicines. You should avoid heavy lifting and activities that could put your heart at risk – for example, exercise or swimming – until you are fully healed from these heart treatments. Usually, it takes 1 to 2 weeks for complete recovery. Your stent may be coated with a drug that lowers the risk of your artery closing up again in the future.
In bypass surgery, your doctor creates a detour for blood to use around a narrowed or blocked artery. He or she uses a piece of healthy blood vessel from your body, called a graft, to make the detour. The graft may come from your leg, chest, or other body parts. During the surgery, the surgeon uses a cardiopulmonary bypass machine to pump blood through your body, also known as a heart-lung machine.
The surgery is usually done under a general anaesthetic, meaning you’ll be asleep throughout the surgery and for some time afterwards. You’ll be hooked up to machines like the left ventricular assist device that monitor your vital signs, such as heart rate and blood pressure, around the clock. You’ll have a breathing tube in your mouth, which will stay in for the first few hours after the procedure. Sometimes patients feel irregular heartbeat due to the bypass surgery, which can be repaired by atrial fibrillation ablation.
Signs when Bypass Surgery is Required
Bypass surgery is required in most critical cases when the patient’s left main heart artery is blocked. Let’s see some other signs.
- Extreme tiredness
- Swelling in legs and hands
- Abnormal Heart Rhythms
- Bypass surgery is required to repair or open the blocked area of the heart artery.
Recovery after heart treatments, such as bypass surgery, can take several weeks. During that time, you’ll need to avoid heavy exercise and follow your doctor’s instructions about your diet plan. Generally, you can walk after 5 to 6 days, and full recovery occurs within 1 to 2 months.
When to Consult a Doctor
You can also get in touch with the expert cardiology doctors at Narayana Healthcare based in your city to get immediate attention and medical support during injuries, health disorders or any other health concern.
Taking your medications as your doctor directs on time is also essential. It can be tempting to skip a pill or ignore instructions, but following your physician’s recommendations for optimal health is vital. Timely medical intervention can help cure many of these ailments or help in managing them. You can also contact the expert doctors at Narayana Healthcare based in your city to get immediate attention and medical support to treat heart conditions, disorders or any other health concern.
Frequently Asked Questions About Heart Treatments
Q. What is the difference between angioplasty and stent placement?
A. In angioplasty, doctors use balloons to open up the blocked artery. On the other hand, stent placement involves inserting a small metal-like stent into the heart artery to open it so that blood flows smoothly. These days, doctors are also using a wire mesh or stent in angioplasty procedures for better results.
Q. Comparison between angioplasty or bypass surgery?
A. Angioplasty is used only in small cases when only one artery is blocked. Bypass is used for bigger complications (blockages in major arteries) and is a lengthier procedure.
Q. Are angioplasty and bypass surgery the same?
A. No! Angioplasty is the procedure in which a doctor inserts a balloon or stent to open a blocked artery. Bypass surgery is when the doctor replaces the blocked heart artery with a new one.
Q. What are the four types of cardiovascular procedures?
A. There are more than four types of heart treatments. Let’s see four of them.
- Coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG)
- Heart valve surgery
- Thrombolytic therapy