About Angioplasty. This post is about Angioplasty abroad and describes Angioplasty as done by the WorldMed Assist partner hospitals in India, Turkey and Mexico. Your situation may differ and you should consult your physician. 

What is Angioplasty?

Coronary angioplasty is a procedure that opens blocked arteries and allows blood to flow to your heart muscle. Angioplasty is not surgery. It opens a clogged coronary artery by inflating a tiny balloon in it. Each year more than a million people in the United States have coronary angioplasty.

Why is Angioplasty done?

The arteries that bring blood to the heart muscle (coronary arteries) can become clogged by plaque (a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances). This can slow or stop blood flow through the hearts blood vessels, leading to chest pain or a heart attack. Increasing blood flow to the heart muscle can relieve chest pain and reduce the risk of heart attack.

You may be a good candidate for an angioplasty if:

· Your blockage is small

· Your blockage can be reached by angioplasty

· The artery affected isnt the main vessel supplying blood to the left side of your heart

· You dont have heart failure

If the main artery supplying the left side of your heart is narrowed, if your heart muscle is weak or if you have small, diffusely diseased blood vessels, then coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) may be a better option. In addition, if you have diabetes and multiple blockages, your doctor may suggest coronary artery bypass surgery. The decision of angioplasty versus bypass surgery will depend on the details of your heart disease and overall medical condition.

Angioplasty preparation

Before an angioplasty, your doctor will review your medical history and perform a physical exam. Youll receive instructions on what you can or cant eat or drink before the procedure. Typically, you have to stop eating or drinking by midnight the night before.

Youll have some routine tests, including a chest X-ray, electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) and blood tests.

Angioplasty Procedure

General anesthesia isnt needed, so youre awake during the procedure. . The doctor threads a thin tube through a blood vessel in the arm or groin up to the involved site in the artery. The tube has a tiny balloon on the end. When the tube is in place, the doctor inflates the balloon to push the plaque outward against the wall of the artery. This widens the artery and restores blood flow.

Angioplasty is usually combined with implantation of a small metal coil called a stent in the clogged artery to help prop it open and decrease the chance of it narrowing again (restenosis). The stent looks like a very tiny coil of wire mesh. Stents can be coated with medication thats slowly released to help prevent arteries from re-clogging. These coated stents are called drug-eluting stents, in contrast to noncoated versions, which are called bare-metal stents.

The entire procedure can take 30 minutes to several hours.

Angioplasty recovery

Youll remain hospitalized from 2 to 5 days while your heart is monitored and your vital signs are checked frequently. Your doctor will likely prescribe medications (anticoagulants) to prevent blood clots, relax your arteries and protect against coronary spasms. The hospital stay in our partner hospitals abroad is much longer than what is provided in the US and gives your doctor adequate time to monitor your recovery.

You should be able to return to work or your normal routine the week after angioplasty.

Angioplasty alternatives?

If the main artery supplying the left side of your heart is narrowed, if your heart muscle is weak or if you have small, diffusely diseased blood vessels, then coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) may be a better option. In addition, if you have diabetes and multiple blockages, your doctor may suggest coronary artery bypass surgery. The decision of angioplasty versus bypass surgery will depend on the details of your heart disease and overall medical condition.

About WorldMed Assist

Experts in medical tourism, WorldMed Assist's mission is to improve lives by helping patients receive high quality medical treatment abroad at affordable prices. WorldMed Assist coordinates and simplifies every aspect of care and travel. WorldMed Assist also provides medical tourism as an option for self-insured businesses seeking expanded and affordable healthcare options for employees. Surgeries in India, Turkey and other carefully selected destinations matched with the client's needs are significantly less expensive than in the U.S., yet delivered with the same or higher quality care and results as set by U.S. standards. Waiting times are virtually eliminated, track records are proven, and facilities are state-of-the-art. For more information, go to www.worldmedassist.com