Type of Surgery
Last updated: 11/24/2009
The diagnosis of coronary artery disease is made after the patient's medical history is carefully reviewed, a physical exam is performed and the patient's symptoms are evaluated. Tests used to diagnose coronary artery disease...
- stress tests
- cardiac catheterization
- imaging tests such as a chest x ray, echocardiography, or computed tomography (CT)
- blood tests to measure blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and other substances
The patient should quit smoking or using tobacco products before the procedure, and needs to make the commitment to be a nonsmoker after the surgery. There are several smoking cessation programs available in the community. The patient can ask a health care provider for more information about quitting smoking.
The patient is usually instructed to take aspirin or another blood-thinning medication for several days before the procedure. Aspirin can help decrease the possibility of blood clots forming at the stent.
It is advisable for the patient to arrange for transportation home, because drowsiness may last several hours and driving is not permitted after the procedure.
After midnight the night before the procedure, the patient should not eat or drink anything.
The patient usually goes to the hospital the same day the procedure is scheduled, and should bring a list of current medications, allergies, and appropriate medical records upon admission to the hospital.
An intravenous needle will be inserted into a vein in the arm to deliver medications and fluids during the procedure. The catheter insertion site may be shaved. A sedative is given to make the patient drowsy and relaxed, but the patient will not be completely asleep during the procedure.
A physician describes how the heart works and two specific diseases of the heart, namely congestive heart failure and aortic aneurysms.
A coronary stent is an artificial support device used in the coronary artery to keep the vessel open.
Coronary stenting usually follows balloon angioplasty, which requires inserting a balloon catheter into the femoral artery in the upper thigh. When this catheter is positioned at the location of the blockage in the coronary artery, it is slowly inflated to widen that artery, and is then removed. The stent catheter is then threaded into the artery and the stent is placed around a deflated balloon. When this is correctly positioned in the coronary artery, the balloon is inflated, expanding the stent against the walls of the coronary artery. The balloon catheter is removed, leaving the stent in place to hold the coronary artery open. A cardiac angiography will follow to insure that the stent is keeping the artery open.
In 2006, 2,192 heart transplantations were performed in the United States. There are 257 transplant hospitals in the United States, 135 of which perform heart transplantations. (http://www.unos.org/)
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