An angioplasty is an operation to open up blocked arteries. Trillium Health Partners performs more than 2,000 angioplasties per year at our Mississauga Hospital and is the only hospital providing this service in the Halton/Peel Region.
During the operation a catheter with a special balloon is inserted into your artery at the point of blockage. The balloon is then blown up, compressing the fat or plaque blocking the artery against the arterial walls, widening the passage.
Angioplasty allows more blood to flow through your arteries and more oxygen and nutrients to your heart. It also reduces angina and the odds of having a heart attack.
Patients undergo coronary angioplasties in Mississauga Hospital's Cardiac Catheterization laboratories and recover in the cardiac short stay unit where they stay overnight for observation.
Resources for Patients & Their Families
Important Information for Patients Having Cardiac Procedures
Your surgeon will give you a Cardiac Procedure Package at your first appointment. You may also print it at home. It contains important information to help you prepare for your procedure.
What Every Patient Needs to Know About Coronary Angioplasty
Our cardiac nursing staff at Trillium Health Partners have produced a guide to help you prepare for your Coronary Angioplasty. It can also help you understand heart disease and how you can reduce your risk.
Coronary Angioplasty Booklet
Quick Information about Your Procedure
We’ve complied some information about some of your most frequently asked questions below.
How to Prepare for Your Procedure
On the day of your angioplasty:
Have a shower.
Stop eating and drinking 4 hours before your angioplasty.
If your angioplasty starts at 10 in the morning, you will have to stop eating and drinking at 6 a.m. that morning. You can still have sips of water during this time.
Take your pills with a small sip of water.
Follow your doctor's advice about taking your:
- diabetic pills,
- Coumadin (Warfarin)
- Dabigatran (Pradax)
- Apixaban (Elequis)
- Rivaroxaban (Xarelto)
Leave your valuable items at home. Take off your rings, earrings, watch or other items that can get lost.
Arrive at Trillium Health Partners - Mississauga Hospital 2 hours before the start time for your angioplasty.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
What to Expect During Your Procedure
- Staff will watch your heart rhythm and blood pressure.
- A nurse will wash your groin or arm and cover the area with sterile sheets.
- The doctor will freeze your groin or arm.
- The doctor puts a tube into your artery which guides a small balloon and stent into the narrowed part of your artery.
- The doctor moves the small balloon to the narrowed part of your artery. It is inflated (blown up) for about 20 seconds. - You might feel chest pressure or chest pain when the balloon is blown up. This is normal. The feeling will go away once the balloon is deflated and removed.
- Staff may give you Nitroglycerin during the procedure. This may give you a headache.
- The stent is placed over a balloon and is directed into the blocked area in your artery.
- When the balloon is inflated, the stent expands into the artery.
- The stent stays in place permanently, holding the artery open.
- The doctor will give you a blood thinner to stop blood clots from forming in your stent. The doctor will tell you how long you will be on this medication.
What to Expect After Your Procedure
You will be taken to recover in one of the following areas:
- Cardiac Short Stay Unit (CSSU)
- Coronary Care Unit (CCU)
- Cath Lab patient area
- If you are an inpatient, you may go back to your unit.
The heart doctor (cardiologist) will decide how long you will be in hospital. This can vary between 8 to 12 hours for outpatients and a few days for inpatients.
You can have someone visit you while you are resting after the procedure.
Visitors: only 1 or 2 visitors per bedside.
You may have blood work and an ECG done during your hospital stay.
If the tube is in your leg, it will stay there for about 2 to 4 hours. After that time, the nurse will remove the tube, applying pressure to the site for about 20 minutes.
If the tube is in your wrist, it will be removed at the end of the procedure.
You will need to remain in bed for about 2 to 8 hours after your procedure, depending on the access site used.