Angioplasty Complications and Immediate Surgery
If you develop serious angioplasty complications, and immediate surgery is required, you may have to undergo coronary artery bypass surgery. You may also need an intra-aortic balloon pump (a device inserted through a blood vessel in your leg) to assist your heart if it cannot provide your body with enough blood during the procedure.
If serious complications develop during angioplasty, coronary artery bypass surgery (also known as open heart surgery) may be required. The surgery is required in 2 to 5 percent of angioplasty procedures, so you and your family should be aware of this possibility.
If your heart cannot provide your body with enough blood during the procedure, an intra-aortic balloon pump may be inserted through a blood vessel in your leg to assist your heart in performing this function. This is a life-saving technique, but it is associated with an increased risk of infection, bleeding, and blood clots in the leg.
Typically, your doctor will insert a small pacing wire into the heart to maintain a steady heart rate before, during, and after the procedure. This is a life-saving technique that rarely has complications. However, there is a slightly higher risk of infection and perforation, or tear, of the heart with this device. For patients with certain types of heart disease, though, it is an essential part of the surgery.