Angioplasty
Cardiology

Angioplasty is performed to ensure blocked arteries and its symptoms won't be a threat to the patient's life any longer. In Iran, one of the top 10 countries in cardiovascular treatments, you can undergo an angioplasty surgery that is both successful and unbelievingly cheap. Read more by clicking on the button below.

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Dena Hospital

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Razavi Hospital

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Pasteurno Hospital

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Angioplasty in Iran

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What is Balloon Angioplasty Procedure?  

Angioplasty procedure helps open the clogged heart arteries. During a 30-minutes to 3-hour procedure, a tiny balloon (catheter) is temporarily inserted in the artery to expand it. This is performed by inserting a wire with a tiny balloon on its tip into the artery on your arm or leg. Using medical imaging (angiogram), a specific dye is injected into your bloodstream and the x-ray shows the bloodstream. As a result, the surgeon can guide the balloon to the blockage. The inflated balloon opens the vessel, pushes the plaque closer to the inner surface of the artery and improves blood flow. 

The catheter will be removed shortly after it simplifies the blood flow. But, the metal mesh tube (stent) can be placed permanently. Although a number of angioplasty surgeries do not require placing the stent, most of them do. The stent keeps the blood vessel wide open and prevents future obstructions. 

What you can expect during an angioplasty procedure: angioplasty surgery is a non-invasive procedure in which general anesthesia is rarely needed. in most cases, the doctor numbs the spot before inserting the small balloon-shaped tube into the artery. You might feel a moderate pressure that is due to the movement of the wire, but pain is rarely experienced. The medical team will also monitor your heart using an instrument called a fluoroscope. 

How serious is an angioplasty?

Angioplasty surgery is an effective procedure that is carried out frequently without resulting in life-threatening complications. Compared to risky procedures such as bypass surgery, angioplasty can remove any blockage inside the artery less invasively. Besides, you are unlikely to experience any severe pain since medications will be administrated to help you feel relaxed. 

With or without stent

Angioplasty can successfully prop the artery open. But, most surgeons take extra measures to ensure blockage won't happen again; placing stents in the artery is the way to do that. Stents are small wired mesh tubes. As the balloon-shaped catheter is inflated, the stent is placed. It adheres to the inner surface of the artery preventing it from tightening. 

Angioplasty VS. Heart Bypass Surgery

Generally, coronary heart disease can be treated in two ways; angioplasty and heart bypass surgery. Heart bypass surgery has long been the first resort for treating the condition because it used to demonstrate much more success rate. In recent years, however, the latest techniques have increased the survival rate after an angioplasty. This has led to many patients switching to balloon angioplasty or stenting as an alternative for heart bypass surgery. 

Angioplasty does not involve general anesthesia or several days of hospital stay. Neither does it require making large incisions or opening the chest. In contrast, heart bypass surgery is a major surgery that entails general anesthesia and cutting through the chest. It is sometimes accompanied by unbearable pain and takes you weeks to fully recover from it. 

As much as angioplasty is a convenient procedure, it does not secure the long-lasting result you might wish for. Among heart bypass surgery patients, only 5.1% of them needed the procedure repeated. Whereas, 30% of angioplasty patients had to go through the procedure again within 18 months.

That being said, angioplasty is mostly recommended for people whose situation is less complex, having only one or two blocked vessels. People with triple-vessel disease or narrowing in the left main coronary artery can achieve better results with heart bypass surgery. Furthermore, people who have diabetes can benefit from better survival results with heart bypass surgery. 

Angioplasty VS. Angiograms

The terms "angioplasty" and "angiography" (or angiogram) are sometimes used interchangeably. But these two procedures serve different purposes. An angiogram is a technique of medical imaging that involves injecting a certain iodine dye into the artery. This method helps the surgeon figure out whether there is a blockage in the artery. Angioplasty is the step that often follows angiogram. If the surgeon notices an obstruction in the artery during an angiography, he or she will perform angioplasty to remove the blockage and ease the blood flow. 

Balloon Angioplasty Success Rate

Today, balloon angioplasty can provide optimal results for more than 90% of the patients. The survival rate can increase using stents or the latest pharmacologic elements.

Is Angioplasty Really Necessary?

Angioplasty or a heart bypass surgery is necessary if you are having a heart attack or experiencing symptoms associated with a narrowed artery. On the other hand, angioplasty is unnecessary if you experience chest pain after strenuous exercises or the narrowed artery doesn't lead to serious symptoms.  

Angioplasty in Iran

Iranian cardiologists are universally known for their expertise. They use the same techniques practiced in some of the world's most renowned hospitals. In terms of angioplasty and heart bypass surgeries, Iran ranks number one in the region outperforming countries like Turkey or India.

To make things better, the competent Iranian surgeons also charge exceptionally less than countries with the same medical quality. With Iranian currency losing its value, it is not surprising to see such low prices in the country. Unlike the cost of angioplasty in the USA being $50,000 and angioplasty cost in India which is $20,000, Iranian hospitals cost about $5000 for the angioplasty procedure.

USA: $44,000 to $144,922   India: $21,736   Iran: $5000 

Angioplasty Pre-op Care

Angioplasty is not a major surgery. Hence, there are little instructions in terms of what you should do before the procedure. Some basic tips are as follow:

  • Avoid eating and drinking for at least 12 hours before the surgery.
  • Do not take any blood-thinning medications such as aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs for at least 2 weeks before the procedure.
  • Always discuss the medications you are taking with the surgeon. You can also take them to the hospital along with their containers.        

After Angioplasty Precautions

After angioplasty, pressure bandages can be used to control bleeding. It is normal to feel a little tired after the surgery but you should call your doctor as soon as you experienced any pain in the chest. It is also common to observe some bruising in the catheter insertion site. 

There are some basic precautions to keep an eye on when you get back from the hospital:

  • After removing the bandages, wash the site with water and soap every day.
  • Avoid using lotion or creams on the wound
  • Avoid bathtubs, Jacuzzis or swimming pools for at least a week.
  • Do not engage in activities that require straining or lifting heavy things. (Most sports are prohibited for at least 2 weeks.)

Other precautions include instructions about the ideal diet after the procedure; a healthy diet helps you recover faster and lowers the risk of complications. Follow these dietary tips to ensure an easier healing process and better success rates. 

  • Include lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains (bread, brown rice, quinoa, barely), antioxidants and fiber in your diet.
  • Meat or one of its alternatives (tofu, eggs, etc.) is a necessary part of your dietary regimen.
  • Have fish (oily fish like salmon or sardines in particular) two times a week to boost your omega-3 intake. 
  • Drink plenty of water. Drinking soft drinks or alcohol should be limited.
  • Refrain from sugary and junk food. 
  • Reduce the amount of salt you consume on a daily basis. 

Angioplasty risks and side effects

Being a minimally invasive procedure, angioplasty is rarely accompanied by serious risks or complications. Still, there could be some possible complications including: 

  • Allergic reaction to anesthesia, dye or other angioplasty materials.
  • Blood clots building up in the stent 
  • Damage to the artery or heart valve
  • Kidney damage
  • infection         

FAQ

Can angioplasty be done twice?

Yes. In fact, angioplasty can commonly be repeated if indicated.

What are angioplasty stents and balloons made of?

Angioplasty balloons can be made of various materials; Polyester, Nylon, Pebax or silicone for example. Stents can be made of either stainless steel and nickel-titanium which will last permanently or polymers which dissolve on their own after a certain amount of time.

Can angioplasty cause death?

In a study conducted by the American College of Cardiology, it was stated that among 1.2 million angioplasty patients, less than 2% of them died as a result of angioplasty. 

Can angioplasty cause blood clots?

There is a 1% chance that angioplasty stents might lead to blood clots.

Is angioplasty painful?

Angioplasty is not a painful procedure. You won't feel any pain during the procedure as the surgeon makes sure you are completely relaxed either by anesthesia or sedation. 

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