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Who needs to have a coronary angioplasty?

Many people live with stable angina. This is when the symptoms of angina don’t vary much and can be controlled by using medicines. Most people with stable angina-if they take medicines for their heart and make certain lifestyle changes-live a normal or good-quality life for may years.

For other people, a cardiologist or a heart surgeon may advise ‘ revascularisation treatment’. As explained earlier, revascularisation involves making the blood vessels wider, or bypassing blockages, so that the blood flow through them more easily. Revascularisation treatment, along with medication, can control the angina symptoms more effectively and can greatly improve your quality of life.

There are different types of revascularisation treatment. They include:

Coronary angioplasty with a stent (or, very occasionally, coronary angioplasty without the stent), and coronary bypass surgery. Deciding what treatment you need Before the doctors decide what treatment to advise, they will ask you to have a coronary angiogram.(This is sometimes called cardiac catheterisation.) This test shows where your arteries are narrowed and how narrow they are.

Three out of every ten people who have a coronary angiogram go on to have an angioplasty. Of the others, some will not need treatment, some may need coronary bypass surgery, and some will need treatment with drugs.

Sometimes, the doctors will do a coronary angioplasty immediately after the coronary angiogram. However, some people may be asked to return in a few months for the procedure. If you have a silent ischaemia

Angioplasty is used to treat the symptoms of angina. If you have a condition called silent ischaemia- that is, if you have a narrowing of your arteries but you don’t have any symptoms-an angioplasty may not be the right treatment for you. You should discuss your treatment options with your specialist.