Most cardiovascular patients walk through their doctor’s door hoping there will be one single treatment or medication that will work like a magic pill, curing their ailments and improving their quality of life. Unfortunately, medicine rarely works that way. Cardiovascular health is a combination of multiple factors, including the medications and treatments prescribed by your doctor, your lifestyle and diet choices, and your family history of heart disease. When all those things are addressed in tandem, that’s when lives improve substantially.
However, some treatments almost instantly improve a patient’s quality of life and create a sense of renewed wellness that had been missing. One of those treatments is called Balloon Angioplasty or Balloon Stenting. You may have heard of this procedure before, but how much do you really know about it?
What Is Balloon Stenting?
A balloon stenting, also known as a balloon angioplasty, is a relatively simple, non-invasive, and outpatient procedure performed on patients experiencing a blockage within their veins or arteries. The procedure begins with a small incision generally made adjacent to one of the large arteries in the patient’s body. One of the most common places to begin this procedure is in the groin, but incisions may also be made in the neck. Once the incision is made, a catheter with a small camera at its tip is woven through the patient’s arteries until it makes its way to the site of the blockage. This blockage is made up of a waxy cholesterol base substance called plaque and is keeping blood from flowing properly through the body. Once the catheter is in position, a balloon at the tip of the device is inflated to expand the diameter of the artery and allow blood to flow freely once again. The balloon presses the plaque up against the artery’s wall, and from there, a stent is placed. The stent is a small mesh tube that holds the plaque against the artery walls to restore blood flow even once the procedure is complete. Finally, the catheter is removed, the incision is sealed up, and the patient is monitored for some time to ensure that everything went successfully.
As you can imagine, patients feel an almost instant improvement in their comfort after this procedure. Living with a cardiovascular system that cannot pump oxygenated blood through your body as it should be and then having that issue reversed within a matter of hours is a radical improvement of quality of life.
Life After A Balloon Stenting Procedure
Directly after your procedure, your cardiovascular team will advise you on exactly how to protect yourself as your body heals. This may require a week or more of rest, a slow, deliberate increase in exercise over time, and regular medication. But, once your wound has healed and you’re given the thumbs up to return to your normal lifestyle, you’ll really begin to experience the benefits of this procedure.
The balloon angioplasty is one tool in the toolbox of cardiologists that is used to help patients improve their quality of life, but it’s not a complete solution unto itself. Patients who undergo balloon angioplasty and don’t make necessary changes to their lifestyle or don’t regularly take their medication will not see the same long-term benefits and quality of life as their counterparts. Improving your quality of life is a holistic approach requiring commitment to a new lifestyle on all fronts. Patients who have successful balloon angioplasty procedures and then maintain their health over time have improved overall health outcomes, more comfort, and have less recurrence of symptoms.
There’s so much in the world that we don’t have control over, but one thing we can control is our commitment to our cardiovascular health. Though some of us come with more genetic risk factors or a history of poor habits, what we do today and in the coming days, months and years will determine our quality of life in the long term. If your cardiologist has recommended a balloon stenting procedure, we think you’ll be pleased with the long-term results. Contact our office today for more information about this procedure or any of the other surgical procedures we offer.