This procedure is performed when a coronary angiogram reveals an obstructive narrowing in one or more of the coronary arteries which are reducing the blood supply to your heart, often causing angina, breathlessness or other related symptoms. It is performed in a similar way to the angiogram and avoids the need for you to undergo coronary artery bypass graft surgery. It involves passing a small balloon into the affected coronary artery via an artery in your leg. This balloon is then dilated to re-open the narrowing in the artery. Once this is done one or more tiny metal stents are inserted and left to help keep the artery open. The improved blood supply to your heart will usually result in a significant improvement in symptoms, often with complete resolution.
If you require an angioplasty procedure your Consultant Cardiologist will perform this procedure personally. Currently, these procedures are performed in London ( London Bridge Hospital, St Thomas’ Hospital or King’s College Hospital) as they require specialist equipment which currently we do not have locally. Like your coronary angiogram, this is performed under a local anaesthetic and once this has been performed you will usually need to stay in hospital overnight. All being well you will then be able to go home on the morning after your procedure.
Following your angioplasty, you will be advised to increase your activities back to normal over a 2 week period. Your Cardiologist will review you 6 weeks following the procedure and may arrange for you to have an exercise test or echocardiogram to assess the effect and function of your coronary stent(s).