Among other potentially serious complications, clogged arteries increase your risk of heart attacks and severe chest pain. At Metroview Vascular & Surgical, with locations in Charlotte and Gastonia, North Carolina, vascular surgeon Augustine Eze, MD, FACS, performs balloon angioplasty to widen the arteries near your heart. For more information about the procedure, call Metroview Vascular & Surgical, or book an appointment online today.
Balloon angioplasty is a procedure that Dr. Eze offers to widen the arteries around your heart for better blood flow. The process doesn’t require any incisions near your heart. Instead, Dr. Eze makes an incision in your groin or on your wrist. He threads a tube called a catheter through the artery in your groin or wrist and up toward your heart.
The catheter contains a deflated balloon. When inflated through the catheter, the balloon expands and widens the affected artery near your heart. The artery’s blockage or narrowing might be due to fatty plaque build-up or a blood clot. The balloon clears the blockage.
During your balloon angioplasty, Dr. Eze might also place a stent in the artery. A stent is a wire mesh tube that holds the artery open and prevents new blockages from forming. From start to finish, the procedure takes between 30 minutes and several hours.
A balloon angioplasty serves several purposes. Dr. Eze might recommend the procedure to you if:
Constricted arteries near your heart put you at a higher risk of having a heart attack or dying as a result of your cardiovascular complication.
Dr. Eze numbs the area around your groin or wrist before inserting the catheter, so you won’t feel pain as it enters your artery. However, you might feel some pressure. You’ll stay awake for the entirety of the procedure since it doesn’t typically require general anesthesia.
Once the procedure ends and the numbness wears off, you might feel sore around the point of insertion. This is normal and should subside quickly. However, if the soreness worsens, you should tell Dr. Eze right away.
Dr. Eze removes the catheter once the stent is in place. You might see some bruising in the area near the catheter’s insertion point. Dr. Eze advises you to stay in the office for at least several hours during the initial recovery after balloon angioplasty.
You should arrange beforehand for someone to drive you home after your procedure since you’ll still have sedatives active in your system. You should wait for several days before returning to work and at least a week before lifting heavy objects and taking part in strenuous activities.
Finally, you’ll attend a follow-up appointment with Dr. Eze. He assesses your recovery and helps you implement lifestyle changes to prevent further complications with your cardiovascular health.
To learn more about balloon angioplasty and find out if you’re a candidate, book a consultation by phone or online at Metroview Vascular & Surgical today.