What are Angioplasty and By-Pass Surgery?
Both angioplasty and by-pass surgery are medical procedures used for the treatment of blocked or clogged arteries. Among the two, angioplasty is the less invasive one and it involves threading a balloon-tipped catheter to the area where the arterial blockage is located through the creation of a small incision in the patient’s groin or arm.
On the other hand, by-pass surgery is more complicated because it is considered a major surgery that includes the use of general anesthesia. During this major surgery, the doctor will take a blood vessel from the patient’s chest wall or lower leg and will use it to restore blood flow to the heart by bypassing the blocked artery.
Which One is Better Angioplasty or By-Pass Surgery?
The truth is that there is no simple answer. It really depends upon the patient’s situation, health condition, and preference. But, if we are talking about lesser risk that is involved in the medical procedure, then angioplasty is the clear winner because the procedure is non-invasive, done fast, and the recovery period is relatively quick in comparison with by-pass surgery.
On the other hand, when we talk about long-lasting solutions and reliability, then by-pass surgery wins, because it is a more permanent treatment to clogged and blocked artery problems and as now, it is the only proven choice for patients with complicated issues and multiple artery problems.
What to Expect After an Angioplasty Procedure or By-Pass Surgery
After an Angioplasty Procedure
Recovering from an angioplasty procedure is relatively fast. After the catheter is removed, the patient can usually be discharged from the hospital within 12 to 24 hours. At home, the patient may experience some fatigue, soreness, and some bruises or discoloration may appear on the part where the catheter was inserted.
The doctor will advise the patient to only perform light activities for the next 5 days. The patient must take the prescribed medications given by the doctor in order to recover properly. The patient must also change his or her lifestyle by performing exercises, quit smoking, and improving his or her diet.
After a By-Pass Surgery
After a by-pass surgery, the patient is required to stay at the hospital for at least 7 days so that the hospital staff can closely monitor the patient’s health. After discharge, the patient may need to take prescribed painkillers to ease the pain and soreness produced by the cuts that were made during surgery.
For the next 3 to 6 weeks, the patient will experience fatigue most of the time because his or her body is using energy to heal itself. During these times, the patient must take care of his or her wounds, cleaning and protecting them regularly.
Some side effects that the patient may experience after the surgery include the following: