Why Would One Need Angioplasty?

Home > Blogs > Why Would One Need Angioplasty?

Why Would One Need Angioplasty?

Posted on 01/10/2022 by BMB


Have you been recently recommended to undergo angioplasty and have a lot of queries about the same? We have written this blog to help you understand all about the procedure and why one needs it, with the help of the best cardiologist in Kolkata.

Angioplasty is a surgical intervention that aims at opening clogged arteries to ensure a healthy flow of blood to the heart muscles and negate the risks of serious complications related to the same. Angioplasty is a phenomenal modality that is carried out via a minimally invasive approach. This means that the blockage can be cleared without the need for large incisions. Angioplasty can even be performed on patients who are experiencing a heart attack, and that too on an emergency basis.

Angioplasty or coronary angioplasty as it is commonly known is recommended to patients with coronary artery disease. Before we go any further, it is important to note that angioplasty cannot be performed on each and every patient with CAD, and there are some eligibility criteria that are to be fulfilled.

What is CAD?

CAD, or coronary artery disease, is a disease marked by the unhealthy build-up of plaque in the arteries, that either results in the blockage or narrowing of the artery, thereby restricting the flow of blood through it. It is a very common heart problem that usually results in a heart attack if left untreated for long. Marked by symptoms like chronic chest pain and breathlessness, coronary artery disease can affect people of any age group, irrespective of their gender.

How does coronary artery disease affect your arteries?

Coronary artery disease is triggered by atherosclerosis, a condition marked by the accumulation of plaque in the arteries. The process does not happen overnight but rather takes years. Plaque is a waxy substance made up of unwanted fats, calcium and fibrin, the substance which is responsible for clot formation. Plaque builds up slowly and as time passes by it tends to harden, causing a severe obstruction. This cuts the supply of oxygenated blood to the heart muscles, causing ischemia. This triggers angina and elevates the risk of a heart attack.

Also, as the plaque starts building up, the body naturally reacts and sends white blood cells to fight the unwanted cholesterol. This results in inflammation leading to the formation of a small cap that covers the plaque. This cap can rupture, releasing small fragments of plaque into the bloodline, causing clots. This further restricts normal blood flow.

Experts from the best Cardiac Centre in Kolkata suggest that plaque build-up is a common problem that is experienced by everyone, however, the problem lies in the speed at which the plaque accumulates. Healthy eating habits and active lifestyles can help to significantly lower down the pace of plaque accumulation however people who eat unhealthy or tend to follow a sedentary lifestyle, are likely to experience plaque buildup at a faster rate.

Symptoms that you need to look out for

Here are a few symptoms that might indicate the prevalence of CAD:

  • Angina or chest pain
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Fatigue
  • Light-headedness
  • Cold sweats
  • Accelerated heart rate

Are you more susceptible to CAD?

There are a number of factors known to increase the risks of CAD. These include:

  • Elevated cholesterol levels
  • Hypertension
  • Family history of heart problems
  • Unmanaged diabetes
  • Excessive smoking
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle

If you relate to any of these, it is important to go for proper assessment and seek immediate medical help. Mild cases of CAD can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes and angioplasty is recommended only when patients stop responding to other treatment modalities.