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A Guide on Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA), by Dr. William L. Matzner
Are you or any of your family members about to go through this heart procedure? Read on to know how it's done.
By: Healthcare Analytics, LLC
Has the doctor recommended angioplasty for you or one of your loved ones? Are you worried about how the doctor will proceed with angioplasty?
Dr. William Matzner has published an article on this issue. The complete article will be published on the Blog of Dr. Matzner at https://drwilliammatzner.blogspot.com
This article will tell you the most important things that you don't know about angioplasty.
What is PTCA?
Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA) is a process through which blocked arteries in the heart are treated. In 2011, doctors carried out about 560,000 PTCA procedures.
The blockage inside arteries builds up due to a high intake of fatty foods that contain cholesterol. It hinders the flow of blood in the heart because cholesterol deposits inside the arteries and builds up. Blood flow is reduced or completely blocked in some worst cases. This deteriorates the heart's health and leads to a stroke. That's why doctors carry out angioplasty to remove the blockage and allow blood to flow freely.
How is PTCA done?
Everyone who's about to go through the angioplasty procedure wants to know how it's done. PTCA is a minimally invasive procedure that is very effective in unclogging blocked arteries. First, the doctor will administer general anesthesia so that you do not feel the pain while the procedure is being done. After that, the doctor will insert a catheter, a fine flexible tube, into your body through your arm or leg. The catheter will be guided to the blocked artery of the heart through a guide wire. When it reaches the blocked site, the doctor will inject a dye to check the intensity of blockage by taking an x-ray. The dye will reflect in the x-ray report which will allow the doctor can see how much plaque is deposited and how it can be removed.
Next, the doctor will insert a balloon-like catheter in the same way as the previous one and take it to the blockage site. The balloon is inflated and deflated inside the blocked artery to unclog it. If needed, the doctor will place a stent at the blocked site to prevent further blockage. A stent is a tiny metal mesh tube that is fixed inside the artery so that it remains open and allows blood to flow through it normally.
After placing the stent, the doctor will perform an x-ray again to see if the blocked artery has been successfully unclogged and then remove the catheter. This brings the surgery to an end.
What Are the Risks Associated with this Procedure?
Just like every other surgery, PTCA also has some potential risk factors that your doctor will discuss with you before the procedure takes place. The following risks are associated with the angioplasty procedure:
* Complications like clotting and bleeding at the insertion site
* Abnormal heartbeat
* Clotting inside the stent
* Blood vessel getting damaged during the procedure
* Kidney complications
Angioplasty is accompanied by these potential risks but you shouldn't get worried because most of these procedures are successful and only a small portion of people develop these complications.
If you or any family member is about to go through PTCA, you don't need to worry about it because if it is done properly, there won't be any complications. Moreover, people who undergo this procedure must go to their doctor for follow-up visits and regularly take medicines to ensure that no complications arise after the procedure. If the patient makes efforts to follow the post-surgery care steps then there's nothing to worry about.
About William L. Matzner, M.D., PhD, FACP
Dr. William Matzner works in the area of healthcare economics consulting at Healthcare Analytics, LLC, in California. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University. He received his M.D. with Honors from Baylor College of Medicine. In 1988, he was the Solomon Scholar for Resident Research at Cedar Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Matzner subsequently was awarded a PhD in Neuro Economics from Claremont Graduate University. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Palliative Medicine. He has researched and published extensively on the issue of reproduction and immunology in medical literature. He has been in private practice since 1989, specializing in Reproductive Immunology and Internal medicine.
Dr. William Matzner
Healthcare Analytics, LLC