Coronary angioplasty, with or without a vascular stent, is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed to unblock or widen a vein or artery, improving blood flow.
It is usually performed in an interventional radiology room instead of a traditional operating theatre.
Who is this kind of treatment for?
This surgery is for patients who have tried other treatments (usually drugs) and have not found improvement and suffer from worsening chest pain.
It is also suitable for patients who have suffered a heart attack.
How is the treatment performed?
This procedure is performed without anaesthesia but with a conscious sedation or sedative based on relaxants to avoid pain and sudden movements and usually requires 30-90 minutes.
The procedure involves inserting a catheter through an artery in the arm or groin to the affected area. At the tip of the catheter is a balloon. The doctor will inflate it allowing the unblocking or widening of the blocked artery and then remove it. Sometimes this widening alone is not enough. Therefore, a stent is also placed at the same time. A Stent is a tiny spring that will be left in place to prevent further blockages in the area.
If the catheter is inserted in your groin, you will have to be immobile for at least 12 hours.
After the intervention, you will be transferred to the ICU where you will remain for about 12 hours. After that, you will be taken to the ward. You will stay there for 1-2 days. On the ward you will receive the necessary care to facilitate your discharge and return home
What is the result of the treatment?
After surgery, you will experience relief from your chest pain, your blood flow will be completely restored and your breathing will be normalized.
What recovery time do I need in Spain?
A full recovery from coronary angioplasty is usually one (1) week.
The recovery time varies depending on your age, your physical condition and whether the treatment was due to an infarction (in which case the recovery time may be a little longer).
- No general anaesthesia required
- Check that you have prepared all the personal documentation (credit card, cash, passport, Identity Card…), medical (reports, prescriptions, images…) and travel (confirmation of accommodation booking, travel tickets…)
- If you take medication of any kind not related to the surgery, do not forget to take with you the necessary amount for your stay in Spain, as well as the medical prescription that will allow you to travel with it without problems.
- Once you are in Spain, you will have to make an appointment with your specialist. During this visit, the doctor will open your medical record (for which you will be asked to provide all your medical documentation), perform a physical examination and tell you if any further tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis.
- If it is not necessary and everything is confirmed, your doctor will tell you when you must go to the preoperative study and will confirm the time of admission for the day of your surgery.
- If the surgeon has told you to stop taking any medication a few days before the surgery, such as anticoagulants, please do not forget to follow the exact instructions given by the doctor or you will not be able to have the operation!
- The same goes for any fasting that the doctor indicates, if you do not comply – You will not be able to have the surgery either
- You must monitor the insertion site for any inflammation or swelling and you shouldn’t lift or drive for a week after the surgery.
- Anticoagulant medications will be prescribed for 6-12 months.
- You must fully comply with the medical instructions given to you by your doctor. These guidelines include a modification of your eating habits as this intervention does not necessarily solve the underlying cause of the problem.
- Remember that your recovery time will vary depending on your age, your physical condition, your lifestyle habits and your attitude!
- Keep in mind that your successful recovery also depends on you!
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