Coronary Angioplasty - Medical Negligence Solicitors Compensation Claims


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Coronary Angioplasty

When you have a blockage in one or more of your coronary arteries, you are at risk for a heart attack. You can have open heart surgery or a coronary angioplasty, considered the more conservative of the two procedures. It is also called percutaneous coronary intervention and it can successfully open coronary arteries that have become blocked. A catheter is inserted into the femoral artery in the vein and threaded up to the coronary arteries. It has a balloon at the end that can be blown up within the blockage so that the blockage is open and the artery is widened.

Often the coronary angioplasty is combined with stent placement, which is a wire cage that holds back the blockage and props it open so that it has a decreased chance of becoming blocked again. There are certain stents that are coated with medications, called drug-eluting stents, and other stents that have no medications in them, called bare metal stents.

The angiogram has the ability to reduce one’s symptoms of having blocked arteries, such as having chest pain and shortness of breath. If you are having a heart attack but there hasn’t been much damage yet, a coronary angioplasty can quickly undo the blockage so there is less damage in the heart.

Angioplasty is a newer procedure that treats atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is blockage of the heart from the buildup of fatty and cholesterol plaques in the blood vessels of the heart. If you have atherosclerosis but can’t get it under control with diet, lifestyle and medications or if it causes you to have a heart attack, you can have a coronary angioplasty to take care of the symptoms and blockage.

You are not a good candidate for a coronary angioplasty if the narrowed artery is the left anterior descending artery or if the heart muscle itself is weak or if you have many diseased blood vessels in the heart. In such cases, open heart surgery is considered a better choice than having an angioplasty. In such cases, the diseased arteries are bypassed with a vein or another artificial vessel. If you have diabetes with multiple blockages, coronary artery bypass surgery is recommended. Talk to your doctor about what procedure is right for you.

The coronary angioplasty is safer than an open heart surgery but it still carries a certain degree of risk. Common risks of an angioplasty include:

  • Restenosis or re-narrowing of the artery can occur. Without the use of a stent, about 30 percent of cases of angioplasty will re-close again. This is where stents come along. They reduce the risk of stents to 20 percent if no medications are included, and to 10 percent, if drug-eluting stents are placed.
  • Blood clots can happen within the stent even after the procedure has been successful. The blood clots can form a heart attack. This is why medications like aspirin, Plavix or Effient can be used to reduce the chance of a second heart attack or blockage from blood clots. You may need to be on these medications for a long time, depending on the doctor’s recommendation.
  • You can have a bleeding complication. There may be bleeding in the leg at the site of the percutaneous insertion that requires a blood transfusion and packs to keep the blood from bleeding any more.
  • You can have a heart attack from complications of having the angioplasty.
  • There can be damage to the coronary artery In which it is torn or ruptured from the catheter or stent. This can necessitate an emergency open heart surgery.
  • The dye used to do the angioplasty with can cause kidney damage, particularly in those people who already have damaged kidneys. The doctor may have to limit the amount of dye used in the angioplasty procedure.
  • You can have a stroke during the angioplasty procedure, especially if a piece of the plaque breaks off as it is being threaded during the procedure.
  • You can develop a cardiac arrhythmia as part of the angioplasty. The heart may beat too fast or too slow and may require a temporary pacemaker.

Coronary Angioplasty Solicitors

Our coronary angioplasty solicitors operate using the no win no fee** scheme and you will not have to fund or finance your claim in any respect. In the event that the claim is successful the other side will pay our legal charges and if we are not successful you pay nothing at all. You have nothing to lose in taking up our offer of free advice and there is no further obligation should you decide not to pursue a claim further. We offer a true professional risk free service and you will only ever deal with a qualified, specialist medical negligence solicitor who answers to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Do yourself justice and call our offices today.


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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here