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Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) is a minimally invasive endovascular procedure used to widen narrowed or obstructed arteries or veins, typically to treat arterial atherosclerosis. It is the surgical repair or unblocking of a blood vessel, especially a coronary artery.
How and why is it done?
The term "angioplasty" refers to using a balloon to stretch open a narrowed or blocked artery. Minimally invasive procedures for angioplasty also involve inserting a short wire-mesh tube, called a stent, into the artery during the procedure. The stent is left in place permanently to allow blood to flow more freely. It is also an emergency procedure to restore normal circulation in case of a heart attack.
Angioplasty is also used in other parts of the body that have narrow or blocked arteries, such as the neck, arms, legs, kidneys, and pelvis. Angioplasty allows more blood to get through an artery that’s too narrow or blocked with plaque. This means the organ that the artery reaches will get a better supply of blood after angioplasty.
Angioplasty in Heavily Calcified Vessels | Dr. Jayesh Bhaskaran
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Frequently Asked Questions
How long do you need to be on blood thinners after a stent?
It has been common practice for patients who have had a stent placed to clear a blocked artery to take an anti-clotting drug plus aspirin for 12 months after the procedure. Taking these two medications, called dual antiplatelet therapy, reduces the risk of forming blood clots.
How long will a stent last?
It is permanent. There is just a 2–3 per cent risk of narrowing coming back, and if that happens it is usually within 6–9 months. If it does, it can potentially be treated with another stent.
How many days rest after angioplasty?
For the first five days, do only light activities. Walking, climbing stairs and taking care of routine activities are usually fine. After five days, your doctor will likely say you can resume moderate activities, but you should avoid over-exertion that leads to shortness of breath, tiredness, or chest pain.