Balloons in Medical Science!

I know, the topic sounds so

extraneous, but yes it true, today balloons are not only used for celebration

or party purpose but they are also being applied in medical sciences for


In medical science, angioplasty

is a surgical procedure in which very small balloons are inserted into blocked

or partially blocked blood vessels near the heart. Once in place, the balloon

can be inflated to clear or compress arterial plaque, and to stretch the walls

of the vein. A small stent can be inserted in its place to keep the vessel open

after the balloon's removal. See myocardial infarction.

Balloons are used in the majority

of interventional procedures. These devices are inflated to compress the plaque

against the artery wall, much like footsteps in the snow, in a procedure known

as "angioplasty", sometimes called "balloon dilatation",

sometimes "PTCA" (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty).

Certain catheters have balloons

at their tip to keep them from slipping out, for example the balloon of a Foley

catheter is insufflated when the catheter is inserted into the urinary bladder

and secures its position.

Angioplasty balloon catheters come in a wide range of

lengths and diameters, and are made from a variety of materials, but the major

shared characteristic is that the balloon can inflate to a certain diameter and

not beyond, thus allowing a predictable opening.

During a balloon angioplasty,

patients are usually told not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the procedure. Once

you are in the cath lab, once doctors know the exact location of the blockage,

they thread what is called a guidewire through the same artery in the leg and

advance it across the blockage. Then, the balloon-tipped catheter is slipped

over the guidewire and advanced to the blockage. When this catheter reaches the

blockage, the balloon is inflated. As the balloon expands, it presses against

the plaque, compressing it against the artery wall. The balloon is then

deflated. Doctors may inflate and deflate the balloon a number of times. The

catheter, guidewire, and deflated balloon are then removed.

If doctors are placing a stent in

the artery, the stent is put at the tip of the catheter, over the balloon. When

the catheter is positioned at the blockage, the balloon is inflated, expanding

the stent. Once the stent is open, the balloon is deflated. The catheter,

guidewire, and deflated balloon are then removed, leaving the stent behind to

hold the artery open.

Firm pressure will be applied to

the site where the catheter was inserted to stop any bleeding. You will also be

bandaged. The whole procedure usually takes about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, and

most patients will spend the night in the hospital. You may feel a little

sleepy until the sedative has worn off. Nurses will watch you during the night

to see that your heart rate and blood pressure are normal.

Hence, medical science proves that, balloons can somewhere

stand as a life saving component for human beings. It save your heart and offer

you a new life in the existing world.

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