Is angioplasty a surgery? Is angioplasty surgery dangerous?

Is angioplasty a surgical procedure? 

Angioplasty is not considered a surgical procedure. It is much less traumatic than a bypass and you should not even think of it as surgery. Angioplasty is often used as the next step when lifestyle changes, or lifestyle changes plus medication, do not work. In medicaljargon this procedure is referred to as PTCA, or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty.
A thin tube catheter with a balloon tip is inserted after local anesthesia through a blood vessel in the arm or leg into the blocked coronary artery. The balloon is repeatedly inflated and deflated to compress the cholesterol deposit, the plaque, against the wall of the artery. You may have to stay in the hospital for a day or two. Most of the time a coronary artery treated by angioplasty stays open, but in some cases the procedure may need to be repeated after a few months. Again, what you do after this procedure will affect how often, if at all, you need to repeat it.

Sometimes in the midst of an angiogram, if a major blockage in a coronary artery is found, an angioplasty may be performed at the same time while the catheter is already in place.


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