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Coronary Angiography

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This involves the injection of a visually-contrasting material into the blood vessel (coronary arteries), which is made visible by a specialized X-ray machine which takes picture in real time motion. A small tube is inserted through the groin (femoral artery) or through the hand (radial or ulnar artery), which is then directed to the origin of the coronary arteries, so that the contrast material can be injected directly into the arteries.

This procedure is relatively painless, and can be completed within one hour (if done via the hand) or within five hours (via the groin). The development of new contrast agents has significantly lowered the risk of serious complications.

Angiography also allows cardiologists to ascertain how many coronary arteries are blocked, and determine the degree of blockage. This information is then used to determine the subsequent course of treatment (medical management if blockages are less than 50%; angioplasty or bypass surgery if the block is within 50-70%).

 

Balloon Angioplasty and Stenting

This procedure is used to restore blood flow to a blocked artery. A tiny plastic tube (guiding catheter) is passed through the groin or hand to the origin of coronary arteries. A thin soft wire (guide wire) is then directed through the tube and is directed across the block. After that, another tube with a balloon at one end is passed over this wire, to the site of blockage.

The balloon is then inflated to widen the artery, pushing the plaque against the artery walls restoring the blood flow. A stent (tiny metallic mesh tube that looks like a spring) is then used to keep the artery open. There are two types of stents – drug eluting and bare metal. Drug eluting stents allow for a very low re-blockage rate (0-5%), while bare metal stents have a re-blockage rate of 25-30%.

The stent remains within the body. After 1-3 months, the endothelial layers reforms over the stent, making it a part of the body. The possibility of a re-blockage occurring at the same site can be reduced via drug eluting stents.

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Mrs. Amna Abdulla from Oman on her surgery at Apollo Hospitals, Chennai

Dr. J. K. A. Jameel from Apollo Hospitals, Chennai gave a new lease of life by performing a complex abdominal surgery on Mrs. Amna Abdulla from Oman. Mrs.