What is it? An emergency procedure that uses state-of-the-art technology to locate and open blocked vessels to restore blood flow to the heart following a heart attack. By quickly locating and treating the site of the blockage, emergency angioplasty reduces damage and helps to preserve heart function in the future. A stent is a wire metal mesh tube used to prop open an artery during angioplasty.
What happens during the procedure? You will be mildly sedated but remain awake. Nothing we do is painful and you do not have feeling inside your arteries where we will be working. An IV will be placed in your groin. Very small plastic tubes called catheters will be guided to your heart and dye will be used along with x-rays to determine where there is blockage that is causing your heart attack. Balloons on the catheters may be used to open the blockage. During the procedure the stent is moved into the area of the blockage and is expanded, locked in place and forms a scaffold, permanently holding the artery open.
Preparing for the Procedure:
This is an emergency procedure only, if you are experiencing heart attack symptoms, call 911 immediately.
If you are experiencing any signs of a heart attack, you should immediately call 911. Do not drive yourself to the hospital. You will be in the hospital for several days and be placed on new medications which will be important for your heart to remain as healthy as possible. This does not cure coronary artery disease; you will still need to make lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, dietary changes and regular exercise.