We hear patients complaining on cardiologist, i.e. advising them to undergo angioplasty under emergency with or without stenting. In this article, I will discuss what is this emergency or urgency about angioplasty or stenting. Please note that all cases may not need emergency angioplasty but some do.
Our heart is situated in the chest cavity. The function of the heart is to pump the blood, thus making the blood circulate in our body. All organs including heart need oxygenated blood for survival or else they will die. This oxygenation of blood continuously happens in lungs.
Heart for its own supply of blood depends on arteries, named as coronary arteries. If by any reason these arteries get blocked then the problem starts i.e. heart attack.
In this, there is a complete cessation of blood supply. If block occurring is a slow process (like months to years), heart generates small vessels called collaterals these can help to prevent the death of the heart muscle but this collateral may not be sufficient to make heart fully functional.
If block happens suddenly, then what we call STEMI type of heart attacks occurs, this needs urgent angioplasty. This situation is like a heart is on fire, we need to open the blocked vessel urgently if not that portion of heart will die. leading further to more severe complications, may even a death of the patient. This kind of patients definitely needs urgent angioplasty. in fact, they have been named as Primary or Rescue angioplasty. These patients get the highest level benefit if angioplasty is done at the earliest. Here every minute counts. There is a phrase “Time is muscle (heart muscle)” applied to these group of patients.
Less than 100% block
Hear the blocked vessel is not fully occluded but under some clinical situation what doctors call as “Acute Coronary Syndrome” there may be a high probability that it can get occluded. So, sometimes doctors may advice urgent angioplasty depending on the clinical situation.
This is not an emergency, after doing angiography doctor may proceed with angioplasty as angioplasty is a just extension of angiography.