Sandyford, Dublin 18
What is a Coronary Angioplasty / Stent ?
Coronary Angioplasty is a procedure used to open narrowed heart arteries. Angioplasty involves temporarily inserting and blowing up a tiny balloon, into where your artery is narrowed to help widen the artery. Angioplasty is often combined with the placement of a small metal coil called a stent in the narrowed artery - this helps keep the artery open and lessen the chance of it narrowing again.
Why do I need an Angioplasty / Stent?
When narrowing of your arteries is found it means that inadequate blood flow is being fed to your cardiac muscle. In order for your heart to function properly a good supply of blood is needed, without it you could have a heart attack, heart failure or rhythm problems.
What are the Coronary Arteries?
In order for your heart to function it needs a constant supply of oxygen. Oxygen is supplied to the heart muscle by the coronary arteries. These are the blood vessels that wrap around the heart.
• Right Coronary Artery: supplies blood to the bottom, right side and back heart muscle
• Left Main Artery splits into:
– Circumflex: supplies blood to the back left side of the heart
– Left Anterior Descending: supplies blood to the front left side of the heart
What do I need to do to prepare for my test?
• Do not eat or drink at least 4 hours before your procedure
• Bring your medications with you or a list with the doses noted
• If you are diabetic, ask your doctor if you should stop any medication
• Plan to have a friend or family member drive you home
• Do not bring valuables with you to the hospital
• Bring an overnight bag as you will be staying in the hospital overnight
• It is important to take your medications (Aspirin & Plavix) on the morning of your procedure.
What will happen once I arrive at the Cardiology day unit?
• You will be asked to change into a hospital gown
• An ECG will be preformed
• An IV will be inserted and blood will be taken to check your kidney function/electrolytes/cholesterol/blood count/glucose
• Your blood pressure /heart rate /temperature and oxygen levels will be taken
• Valuables will be locked up or preferably sent home with family
• Your right wrist and groin will be shaved in preparation of your test
• Please alert staff of any allergies especially to medicine, x-ray dyes, shellfish or iodine
• Please direct any questions you may have to any of the staff
• You will sign a consent agreeing to your procedure
• You will be asked to empty your bladder before your procedure
How is it done?
• You my be given medication to help you relax if desired
• Your doctor will numb either your wrist or your groin before inserting a thin tube which will be inserted into your blood vessel
• A catheter with a small balloon at the end is passed though the tube and inflated in the narrowed artery to stretch out the narrowed artery
• A stent may be placed over the balloon and placed in the artery once it is widened
• Once the stent is in place the catheter is removed and x-rays will be taken to see how well blood flows through the newly widened artery.
What will I feel?
• Slight “bee sting” as your wrist / groin is being numbed
• Sometimes you will feel a warm sensation in your chest for a few seconds as the dye is injected
• You may feel you have passed water but you haven’t
• You may feel slight chest discomfort while the balloon is inflated. As it is temporarily blocking the flow of blood. This may last around a minute.
What happens after the procedure?
• All catheters will be removed
• Pressure will be held over insertion site
• If your wrist is used, a clear pressure band will be applied and you will be able to sit up and eat immediately with slight limits to your wrist
• If your groin is used you must lay flat with your leg still for at least 30 – 60 minutes, minding to keep your head down and to hold pressure over site if you need to cough or sneeze
• You will have your blood pressure and pulses checked frequently
• You will be seen by your doctor to discuss your test results and plan
• You will stay overnight in the cardiology ward
Cardiac Catheterisation Lab
Implantation and follow-up checks for:
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note you will need a referral letter from your GP
to use any of the services of Beacon Heart Centre