The test may take about 40 minutes to 1.5 hours and is performed under
local anaesthetic with a sedative to relax you. A doctor and nurse will
be present to explain the procedure to you. The initial part of the procedure
is the same as for coronary angiography. Once the catheter is in place
a thin wire called a guide wire is threaded through the catheter towards
the narrowed section of the artery. Over this the doctor will advance
the angioplasty catheter that has a balloon at the tip. When the balloon
is inflated you may experience some angina-type symptoms. These symptoms
are normal but tell your doctor if you experience this. This may be repeated
a few times until the artery is opened adequately.
A stent is a metal mesh or coil, which is designed to prevent the opened
section of the artery from narrowing again.
What Happens Afterwards?
You will be given medicines that thin
the blood during the angioplasty. After the procedure
the sheath introducer is left in place until the
blood begins to clot normally. This may take a
few hours and then the sheath introducer will be
removed. You may need bed rest for up to 24 hours.
Alternatively, an artery closure device may be
used to close the puncture site. This allows you
to sit up at 30 degrees immediately and mobilise
after one hour. Your doctor will decide if this
device is suitable for you.
The doctor will discuss the result of your angioplasty
with you, and advise you on your medications before
you are discharged.