Frequently asked questions about Angioplasty
Though the technological advancement in the field of cardiology has made angioplasty procedure very safe and accurate but there are certain doubts in patients and relatives minds which need to be addressed.
For this purpose we have included commonly asked questions here and Dr S.S.Bansal will be answering the same.
Q. 1. Can the Stent change its position or slip from the place where it was deployed after it is implanted?
Ans. No. The stent is implanted into the artery firmly with a balloon at high pressures by a balloon. Moreover, after a few weeks, the stent gets covered by the lining of the artery and becomes a part of the artery so there is no chance of the stent moving from its place.
Q.2. Does a stent rust in the body since is made of steel?
Ans. The material that is used to manufacture a stent is a special type of medical grade steel which is a rust proof material. This does not rust inside the body. These days stents are usually made of Cobalt Chromium & Platinum.
Q.3. Can a Stent get deformed by putting pressure on chest externally or will it pinch the heart or other organs around it?
Ans. The heart is inside the chest cavity and no amount of pressure externally will reach the stent deployed inside the artery. The stent is placed inside the artery and as such gets covered by lining of the artery and hence can never pinch or prick any other part of body.
Q.4. Can I go through an X Ray or CT Scan or MRI Post stenting?
Ans. X-Ray or CT Scan can be done any time, MRI after one month of procedure.
Q.5. Will the presence of the Metallic Stent inside the artery cause the security or metal alarm go off during security checks etc like on airport security checks?
Q.6. I have heard that the stent can get blocked again after angioplasty. What are the chances of that and how can I avoid that?
Ans. Chance 0.5% clot formation 5% to 15% Restenosis, Drug coated & Bare Metal Stent respectively
Q.7. Can I lead healthy normal life again after angioplasty?
Ans. There are excellent chances of leading a healthy life & go back to work as you were doing pre angioplasty. Most people are back to their earlier lifestyle within 3 days after angiography is a have not suffered for heart attack & if ejection fraction of your heart is >50%.
All that you need is to make a few modifications in your lifestyle in terms of Diet, Exercise etc which will help you to become normal much faster and prevent the chances of Restenosis.
Q.8. Can I get Coronary Artery Disease again?
Ans. Angioplasty opens your dangerous block but other portion of that artery & other arteries can also have deposition as you grow older. So, no one can say whether one can get Coronary Artery Disease again or not.
BUT, one thing is for sure that if all the controllable risk factors mentioned in the book are well taken care of, like Exercise, Diet, Blood Pressure, and Diabetes etc. the chances of recurrence are very less.
Q.9. Is it true that an Aspirin a day keeps Heart Attack Away?
Ans. It is amazing but true that an Aspirin taken daily prevents both the chances of Heart Attacks and Strokes. Aspirin in a way thins the blood that decreases the risk.
It should be a routine part of the therapy usually but your doctor knows the best what dose and duration Aspirin needs to be taken for.
Q.10. I have undergone an Angioplasty. Is the long duration of exposure to x- Rays dangerous to me?
Ans. The Angiography and Angioplasty is done by a Special Device called as Cardiac Cath Lab in which the apparatus used releases a minimum dose of radiation required to undergo the procedure.
The dosage of X Rays is constantly monitored. This is No danger due to the X Rays during the procedure.
Q.11. At what level of percentage narrowing should be an angioplasty done and can it be done in 100% blocked arteries?
Ans. A blockage more than 70% should be angioplasties. Arteries with 100% blockage can also be opened by Angioplasty but the procedure in this case is a bit more complex to perform.
However the doctor is best to decide which blockages need to be opened by Angioplasty and which need some alternative modes of management.
Q.12. I feel absolutely fine. Why should I worry about Blood Pressure?
Ans. A lot of patients have symptoms of high blood pressure but a lot others do not know about this till the doctor checks it but it keeps on worsening and may damage the organs in the body without the patient realizes this.
No wonder it is also called as the silent killer. Uncontrolled Blood Pressure increases the chance of Restenosis in patients who have undergone an Angioplasty.
Q.13 Can I smoke after angioplasty?
Ans. Risk doubles every time you light up. Smoking causes blood vessels to constrict imagine what will happen to already narrowed and damaged ones. SO QUIT.
Q.14. Is it normal to feel anxiety after procedure?
Ans. A lot of questions cloud our thought process. From anxiety to depression, from fear of death to the joy of living. Fleeting pains which otherwise were never looked at replace concern.
Smallest pain in the chest worries you. This is normal however you must not get worked up and takes things in a lighter vain.
Q.15 When can I go back to work?
Ans. 90% of the patients resume work within a week. What kind of work one should take depends on the severity of the damage and the job profile.
Ideally you must take less taxing job. Getting busy and involved will result in quicker recovery. But the best person to advice you when to start working is your doctor.
Q.16 How to handle Depression, I am having now?
Ans. If you have some of the following warning signs it is indicative of depression. These include…
- Sleep problems
- Appetite problems
- Emotional Stress
- Loss of alertness
- Low self-esteem
If you have any of these you must speak to you doctor, he may prescribe appropriate medication.
Q.17. How much alcohol I can take?
Ans. If you don’t, do not. Moderate drinking is fine. Excess alcohol can raise your blood pressure.
Q.18 When can I resume my family life after angioplasty?
Ans. If you can climb two sets of stairs without shortness of breath, you can resume sexual activity.
Q.19 What kind of diet I should follow?
Ans. 1. Avoid fried, fatty thing especially saturated transfect.
2. Eat more vegetables & fruits
3. Select whole grow and high fiber diet
Q.20 What kind of diet I should follow?
Ans. Desirable calories ranges from 1200 to 2000 depending upon your ideal body weight & body man index as prescribed by dietician.
You can have plenty of vegetables & fruit. Take upto 50 gm. of nuts. Take polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are there in refined oils.
Avoid saturated fats which is there in whole milk, butter, ghee, sweets etc. Avoid transfats which are there in fast foods and bakery products & deep fried items. Also avoid excessive salt intake which is twice in processed Foods.
Q.21 What kind of exercise can I do?
Ans. Avoid isometric exercise like weight lifting, dumbbell, bench press etc. Isotonic exercises like walking, swimming, cycling is good for heart patients.
Duration & intensity depends upon individual capacity. It should be symptom limited exercise in the first few months.