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Having a balloon angioplasty to widen or unblock an artery should improve the flow of blood without you having to have open heart surgery. This procedure may also improve your breathing if blocked or narrowed arteries are causing you to be short of breath. Sometimes it can be used to treat an artery during or soon after a heart attack or to reduce the risk of you having another heart attack.

What happens during balloon coronary angioplasty?

A balloon coronary angioplasty usually takes between 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on your own situation.  Your consultant may offer you a sedative to help you relax.

A sheath (a short, soft plastic tube used to access your artery) is usually inserted in your femoral artery near your groin or radial artery near your wrist. Local anaesthetic may be used on the insertion area.

Your consultant will pass a catheter along the artery to your heart. Using x-ray guidance and contrast dye they will pass a small tube with a tiny inflatable balloon at the end down the catheter and across the narrowed part of the artery. They will then inflate the balloon to widen the artery. In most cases, they will also expand a stent inside the artery to hold it open. The balloon is then deflated and withdrawn leaving the stent to hold the artery open.

After your procedure you will need to remain in bed for several hours. Our healthcare team will monitor your recovery. Be sure and let us know if you are in any pain.

Going home after balloon coronary angioplasty

You may be able to go home the day of your procedure. In some cases an overnight stay may be required. You will not be allowed to drive until your consultant releases you to do so. Please arrange for someone to take you home.

You should avoid any strenuous activity or heavy lifting until your consultant releases you. Continue taking any high blood pressure or cholesterol medications as prescribed.

Bruising around the insertion area is normal. Contact us if you experience any increase in pain, redness, swelling or discharge from this area.

Be sure and discuss any return to work with your consultant.

As with any procedure there could be complications:

  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Infection

Specific complications of balloon coronary angioplasty may include:

  • Reaction to contrast dye
  • Change in heart rhythm
  • Heart attack or stroke (rare).
Find your nearest hospital that provides this treatment

67 Lansdowne Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1RW

01202 291866
Overall rating View rating

Shenfield Road, Brentwood, CM15 8EH

01277 695695
Overall rating Good

Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6DX

01273 624488
Overall rating Meeting standards

3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870
Overall rating Good

4 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, CB2 8AF

01223 370919
Overall rating Outstanding

Stirling Road, Guildford, GU2 7RF

01483 555805
Overall rating Good

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

01133 882 067
Overall rating Outstanding

Beech Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7RP

01865 307777
Overall rating Good

Staplegrove Elm, Taunton, TA2 6AN

01823 286991
Overall rating Good

Haxby Road, York, YO31 8TA

01904 715000
Overall rating Good

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