Coronary angiography is a procedure to find out if any coronary artery is blocked. A small needle is passed into the groin of the patient. Through this, a fine catheter is negotiated into the coronary arteries, and the coronary arteries are filmed.
A small needle is passed into the groin of the patient as in angiography and through this a very fine balloon is passed into the coronary arteries and is negotiated to the site of maximal obstruction and the balloon is then inflated and the lesion is compressed. The obstruction therefore becomes less and blood can easily flow through the arteries.
Sometimes if the technique proves difficult or the patient is unstable, the cardiologist may use a high speed drill similar to the one used by a dentist in order to bore through the artery. This device is called a rotablator.
Sometimes a small spring like device is left within the artery after Ansgioplasty in order to keep the artery widely open. This is called a Stent.
We need surgical stand-by during angioplasty because it is best to have all precautions in the case of an emergency. So a team of nurses, Anaesthetist, Technicians and surgeons are requested to keep themselves free and waiting.