What will happen?
After the hospital admission, you will be brought to the Interventional Radiology Suite where the radiologist and radiographer will explain the procedure and answer your questions. The study usually takes 60 to 90 minutes but may take much longer depending on the severity of vascular disease. After completion, you will be monitored overnight for possible complications.
Do I need any test before the procedure?
You will be asked to have following blood tests:
Urea & electrolytes — to assess if your kidneys will tolerate contrast. PI/FIT/Platelets — to assess the risk of post procedural bleeding. You should discuss any allergy history (particularly to Iodine) with the radiologist prior to booking an angiogram.
The angioplasty procedure
The procedure starts as general angiography.
Under the X-ray guidance the doctor will pass a guide-wire through the narrowed vessel and over it advance a balloon catheter. Using a special device the balloon will be inflated for a few seconds in order to open the vessel. To prevent clot formation, Heparin (blood thinner) will be administered directly through the catheter. If the vessel does not open enough, the doctor will insert a stent (metallic prosthesis) to get satisfactory blood flow.
What will I feel? Does it hurt?
You may feel slight pressure while the balloon is inflated; otherwise same as for general angiographyWhat are the additional risks?
Bleeding at the puncture site may happen because we use big catheter and Heparin in your blood delays clotting process. Despite this it is uncommon and most often minor. Close post-interventional observation is extremely important. Post procedural instruction chart will be presented to the nursing staff in the ward and you will also be instructed how to monitor the site of puncture.
Immediate post angioplasty blockage of the dilated vessel happens extremely rare but may necessitate emergency operation.
The other complications are the same as for general angiography
When will I get my results?
In most cases the radiologist will be able to discuss the results with you and your family immediately after the procedure
When will I resume my normal activities?
If no complications occur, you will be able to get back to your normal activity the next day. You may even be encouraged to increase the level of your activities in order to maintain good blood flow and facilitate healing process. It is still advisable not to lift any heavy object for a few days and to take showers instead of a bath. The doctor will be in position to give you the advice appropriate for your health condition.