Angioplasty becoming outpatient procedure

Canadian doctors reported an American Heart Association conference that their study of 1,000 patients suggests it is safe to send patients home after this procedure without the usual overnight hospital stay.

But patients may not like being rushed out the door, just as they balked when hospitals started sending moms home the same day they gave birth.

Doctors, too, have been reluctant, but "this is the kind of study that's going to turn the trend" and convince more to try it, said Dr. Timothy Gardner, a Delaware cardiologist who had no role in the research, reports CBS News.

Patients, however, might not like being rushed out the door. Some may view it as the cardiac equivalent of "drive-through deliveries," where new moms are sent home the day they give birth.

Angioplasty is one of the most common medical techniques in the world. About 600,000 are done each year in the United States alone. Through an artery in the leg near the groin, doctors snake a tube to blockages that are clogging vessels and preventing them from supplying enough blood to the &to=' target=_blank>heart. A tiny balloon is inflated to flatten the crud, and a mesh scaffold called a stent is left behind to prop the artery open.

Two kinds of complications can occur: bleeding from the leg incision and reclogging of the heart artery.

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Author`s name Editorial Team