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WHAT ARE THE INDICATIONS FOR CORONARY ANGIOPLASTY HOW DOES THE DOCTOR MAKE SURE THAT THE WIRE GOES TO THE RIGHT LOCATION AND THE BALLOON IS IN THE RIGHT PLACE IN THE CORONARY ARTERY?

WHAT ARE THE INDICATIONS FOR CORONARY ANGIOPLASTY?

This procedure is indicated in patients who have a significant (>70%) blockage of one or more coronary arteries. Such patients may complain of chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, or may have suffered a heart attack. Angioplasty can be performed upon any artery of the heart, as also for blocked bypass grafts.

Although angiography and angioplasty may be performed as separate procedures, it makes more sense to perform them as one single procedure at the same sitting. Termed as ad-hoc angioplasty, this procedure saves time and money. More importantly, it reduces anxiety and discomfort for the patient.

HOW DOES THE DOCTOR MAKE SURE THAT THE WIRE GOES TO THE RIGHT LOCATION AND THE BALLOON IS IN THE RIGHT PLACE IN THE CORONARY ARTERY?

The wire is steered into the coronary artery and across the narrowing by using a special twisting tool called the torquer. With the help of contrast fluid, X rays and the TV screen, the doctor can manoeuvre the wire to the correct place. Once the wire is across the narrowing, the balloon is advanced over the wire in the same way, always under visual control using the X ray apparatus. In fact, you can also see the entire procedure yourself on the TV screen as the doctor is working.

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