Mitral regurgitation (MR) is a condition in which the heart’s mitral valve leaflets do not close tightly. When this happens, blood flows backward from the heart’s left ventricle into the left atrium. The heart must then work harder to push blood through the body, which can cause fatigue, shortness of breath and worsening heart failure. It is the most common type of heart valve insufficiency.
A coronary angioplasty is a procedure used to widen blocked or narrowed coronary arteries.
Coronary angioplasty is necessary when hardening and narrowing of the coronary arteries prevents the heart from getting enough blood to function normally.
Coronary angioplasty is also known as percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
A coronary angioplasty is one of the most common types of treatment for the heart. Over 800 procedures are performed in our centers each year.Coronary angioplasty has many advantages compared with surgical treatment of coronary heart disease (coronary artery bypass), carrying lower risks and being less expensive. A much shorter recovery time allows patients to resume their normal activites and return at their workplace within just a few days.
In our centers, coronary angioplasties are performed at the same time with coronary angiographies, the cost of the coronary angiography being included in that of the coronary angioplasty.
Thus, instead of doubling the risks performing two procedures, we offer our patients the alternative of treating them in a single intervention, with minimal risks
Coronary angioplasty is performed when critical stenoses (>70%) are found at coronary angiography.
addBefore procedure - Preparation
Before the intervention, the interventional cardiologist must be prevented of any prior history of allergic reactions to drugs or other compounds, or if there is a suspicion of pregnancy. Current medication must be clearly specified, and any other medical conditions must be mentioned.
Blood tests are taken (hemoglobin level, coagulation tests, renal function tests, or other specific tests).
The patient should not eat/drink before the procedure
addAfter procedure - Recovery time
Since the procedure is minimally invasive, the recovery is usually very fast and the majority of patients can leave the hospital the next day, and resume their normally activities within a few days.
Twenty-four hours after the procedure the vascular puncture site will be inspected to exclude any potential local complications, and certain blood tests will be taken (hemogram, renal blood tests – creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, and other specific tests).
Drink at least 2 liters of water per day in the following days in order to eliminate the contrast agent from the bloodstream.
You may have a bruise under the skin where the catheter was inserted. This is not serious, but it may be sore for a few days. Very rarely, the wound can become infected. Keep an eye on it to check that it is healing properly.
After having a coronary angioplasty, avoid any heavy lifting for about a week or until the wound has healed. Do not drive for a week after the procedure.
Indications about recovery and postprocedural treatment will be clearly specified to all patients before being discharged.
Most people need to take blood-thinning medication for up to one year after having an angioplasty. This is usually a combination of low-dose aspirin and a medication called clopidogrel. It is very important to follow your medication schedule. Stopping this medication early greatly increases the risk of the stent becoming blocked suddenly and causing a myocardial infarction.
The course of clopidogrel will be withdrawn after the agreed period, but most patients need to continue taking low-dose aspirin for the rest of their life. Another angioplasty may be needed if the artery becomes blocked again and your angina symptoms return.
Is it painful?
No. The whole procedure is carried out under local anesthesia, the patient being conscious during the whole duration of the procedure.
How long does it take?
The procedure takes about 30 min – 2 hours and is performed in the cardiac catheterization laboratory.
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