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Expectations With Angioplasty

Benefits of angioplasty often include a significant relief from chest pain and a decrease in the need for heart medication. Before your procedure, it's important for your expectations to match your doctor's expectations. With angioplasty, more than 90 out of 100 procedures are considered successful; however, it's important to understand that the arteries may become reblocked after an angioplasty, even if a stent is used.

Expectations With Angioplasty: An Overview

After balloon angioplasty, you can expect that your doctor will have valuable information about your coronary arteries, valves, the pumping ability of your heart, and the condition of your heart muscle.
If your doctor discovers that you have blocked arteries, you can expect that your treated arteries will be expanded. This should improve blood and oxygen flow to your heart muscle. More than 90 out of 100 angioplasty procedures are considered successful.
Benefits you may obtain from angioplasty often include a significant relief from chest pain and a decrease in the need for heart medication.
If your doctor also inserts a stent during your angioplasty, you can expect (in most cases) that your expanded artery will remain open longer than with angioplasty alone. However, there is no guarantee how long any artery will stay open, despite the use of angioplasty or a stent.
In fact, the rate of artery reclosure with angioplasty alone is approximately 10-30 out of 100 procedures within six months. With stenting, this occurrence lowers to 1-20 out of 100 procedures within six months.
Reclosure usually happens slowly, occurring weeks or even months after angioplasty. This is because new plaque deposits may form or your artery may narrow during the healing process. If your artery does not reclose within six months after your procedure, it usually stays open. Depending on your condition and symptoms, reclosure can be treated with drugs or with a second angioplasty. About 25 out of 100 patients undergo a repeat angioplasty because of reclosure. Coronary artery bypass surgery is often recommended for patients who cannot be treated with a repeat angioplasty or by drugs alone.
If you have any questions, you and your doctor can discuss the expected results for your particular situation. It is important to make sure that your expectations match your doctor's expectations.
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