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Angiography and Angioplasty, Saviors of Life

by anonymous

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Heart, one of the most important organs of human body is made of muscles. The heart pumps the blood and supplies it to different parts of the body through arteries. It performs one of the main functions to keep us alive. Being the most essential muscle of our body, heart also needs blood to its muscles which is supplied through the coronary arteries which go directly to the heart. Our heart is in good condition as long as there is a good supply of blood and there are no other health problems. However, obstruction to the supply of blood to the heart can cause cardiac problems like heart attack.

Cardiology is a branch of medicine which deals with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the heart, and the doctor who deals with such problems are cardiologists or cardiac surgeons. Disorders of the heart lead to heart diseases and cardiovascular diseases. Some of the cardiac problems are disorders of the coronary circulation, cardiac arrest, disorders of myocardium, disorders of pericardium, disorders of the heart valves, congenital heart defect and vascular disease which is the disease of the blood vessels.

The deposition of cholesterol on the inner walls of the coronary arteries causes some blockage in these arteries obstructing the flow of blood to the heart. Insufficient flow of blood to the heart can cause a heart attack. If the condition worsens, the arteries get completely blocked disrupting the flow of blood to the heart completely causing great damage.

Symptoms of Coronary Heart Disease:

Some of the common symptoms of coronary heart disease are:

• chest pain or discomfort due to lack of oxygen supply to the heart
• squeezing kind of pain under the breast bone, neck, arms, stomach or upper back
• occurring of pain with activity
• shortness of breath and fatigue with exertion
• weakness

In such situations, cardiologists suggest angiography or arteriography which is a medical imaging technique. This procedure gives them a clearer picture of the insides of blood vessels, arteries, veins and the heart chamber. This helps in detecting blockages and the narrowing of the blood vessels. Angiogram or angiography is the most reliable procedure to know the blockages that are obstructing the flow of blood to the heart. Based on angiography or angiogram of the patient, he/she may be called for angioplasty.

Angioplasty is the technique or procedure which is used to mechanically widen the narrowed or blocked arteries. In this procedure, a collapsed balloon on a balloon catheter is passed into the narrowed or partially blocked locations and is then inflated to a fixed size using water pressure which is 75 to 500 times normal blood pressure. This balloon crushes the fatty deposits and opens up the blood vessels improving the blood flow. Once done the balloon is then deflated and withdrawn. In some cases, a stent may be inserted for the vessels to remain open. Thus, angiography & angioplasty are the two important procedures in treating the coronary heart problems. Hospitals with expertise in cardiology offer these services through their highly qualified cardiologists.

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