Planning for a Coronary Angioplasty Procedure

If you are being planned for a coronary angioplasty procedure, our cardiologist will first take your consent for procedure after explaining to you the risks that may be involved in the procedure.

Before your procedure, please inform our doctor and clinic staff what insurance policies you may have that could cover your outpatient clinic consultations and tests, and inpatient procedures. You could check with your insurance agent or HR (if corporate insurance) to find out about your coverage. For most corporate and personal insurance schemes, preauthorisation is usually required to obtain a Letter of Guarantee for the admission process, to ensure that your hospital stay and procedure costs will be covered. You can help by initating the request with your insurance agent or HR, after which we will do the necessary paper work and submit them to your insurance company for approval. The process for approval takes on average 3-5 working days.

Preadmission Tests

Before admission, you will be required to do some tests, including blood tests and an ECG. Other cardiac tests such as an echocardiography may also be done.

Admission and Procedure Day

On the day for the coronary angioplasty, you will need to register at the hospital’s admission office 2 hours before the time of the procedure. You will also be required to fast for 4 hours before the time of the procedure. You can still take your medications 4 hours before, or otherwise if advised by our cardiologist.

The admissions office will arrange a room for you where they will prepare you for the procedure. Nearer to the procedure time, you will be brought down to the cardiac catherisation laboratory where the angioplasty procedure will be performed. An angioplasty procedure usually takes approximately 1 to 2 hours time, depending on the complexitity of the procedure.

During the angioplasty, local anesthesia will be administered to numb the area where a sheath (tube) will be inserted, usually at the radial artery (wrist) or less commonly at the femoral artery (groin). Our cardiologist then inserts a catheter (thin flexible tube) into the sheath and thread it towards the heart to perform the angioplasty. An x-ray camera is used to project images onto a screen to help our cardiologist guide the catheter to the heart artery.

When the catheter is properly positioned, our cardiologist injects a contrast dye (also called radiographic contrast agent) through the catheter into the heart and its arteries. Most people do not feel the dye injection. Rarely, some may feel a minor discomfort or a warm sensation, typically lasting only a few seconds, in their chest, and even more rarely, lightheadedness or nausea.

At the segment of the artery blockage (narrowing), a thin wire (called guidewire) is passed across the blockage. Next, a long, thin flexible tube (balloon catheter) with a small uninflated balloon at its tip is threaded through the catheter, over the guidewire and to where the artery is blocked. The balloon is inflated at the position of blockage. As the balloon inflates, it cracks and flattens the plaque against the wall of the artery. Some patients feel minor discomfort when it is inflated. Medication may also be given to some patients who experience more pain. A coronary artery stent is then put in place to hold up the artery walls, thus treating the blockage.

After the Procedure

After the angioplasty is performed, you will be monitored in the High-dependency unit or Coronary care unit for one night. The morning after, our cardiologist will assess your condition and prepare you for your discharge from hospital. After coronary angioplasty with stenting, you will require 2 types of blood thinning medications. We will also schedule a follow-up appointment in our clinic to review your condition after discharge.

For more information, please call our clinic at 6735 3022 or 66940140.


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