Article written by Dr. Adrian Linte, Cardiology / Interventional Cardiology Specialist, at the Hospital for Cardiovascular Diseases Angiomedica
Obstructive artery disease affects 1 in 3 people over the age of 70 in Romania, but it can occur with high frequency even at younger ages such as 40-50 years, sometimes even earlier, regardless of gender , status or personal history. It is one of the most common and dangerous diseases suffered by the elderly in our country.
This condition means clogging or narrowing of important blood vessels and endangering the patient’s health. Untreated, this condition can cause a number of conditions fairly quickly, such as myocardial infarction, stroke, lower limb obliterative arteriopathy (which in turn can lead to amputation), mesenteric ischemia (obstruction of abdominal vessels that can cause abdominal pain). postprandial or in case of acute obstruction necrosis of an important intestinal segment, life-threatening complication) and many more.
What should the patient know?
The treatment of this condition is generally practiced either by drug treatment, by bypass surgery or transluminal percutaneous angioplasty (or balloon and / or stent angioplasty), a minimally invasive procedure that restores optimal circulation to the affected blood vessels. of obstruction. Types of treatment are not excluded, they can work together, and its choice depends on the area of the body where the obstructed vessels are located. Angioplasty is preferred for blood vessels in the abdomen, while femoral occlusion is most commonly treated by surgical bypass.
Not infrequently, our interdisciplinary team at the Hospital for Cardiovascular Diseases Angiomedica decided together the treatment plan, and the patient benefited from a minimally invasive intervention with rapid recovery of 2-3 days.
It is very important that the choice of treatment is made after investigations such as selective angiography, an investigation of extreme accuracy. By means of angiography that lasts between 15 and 60 minutes, blood vessels of
a few millimeters can be seen and their obstructions can be observed, all under local anesthesia.
Although angiography is no longer a rarely used investigation in Romania, in order to obtain the most accurate results, high-accuracy and high-performance equipment is needed, as well as specialists in Interventional Cardiology who know how to „read” the results correctly and propose the most appropriate treatment method for each patient.
What happens after angiography?
The results of the angiography will be interpreted by the cardiology / interventional radiology specialist and the treatment plan will be established. If balloon and / or stent angioplasty is recommended, this procedure is performed similarly to minimally invasive angiography, under local anesthesia and with immediate recovery. During the procedure, the interventional physician inserts an angioplasty probe through which a guide (a thin wire / wire) passes into the treatment vessel downstream of the narrowing / obstruction, and then passes through the guide an initially deflated balloon that is inflated in place. The stent is subsequently inserted to keep the obstructed vessel open and to restore proper circulation.