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Angioplasty, coronary - Risks of coronary angioplasty (stent)

NHS Choices Medical Reference

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As with all surgery, coronary angioplasty carries a risk of complications. Several factors increase your risk of experiencing these complications.

Who's at risk?

Factors that increase your chance of having complications include:

  • Your age  - the older you are, the higher the risk. For example, a 60-year-old man with no other risk factors has a less than 1% risk of developing complications, while an 80-year-old has a 3% risk.
  • Whether the surgery was planned for  angina or emergency treatment after a heart attack - emergency surgery is always riskier because there is less time to plan it.
  • Whether you have kidney disease - the intravenous dye used during an angioplasty can occasionally cause further damage to your kidneys.
  • Whether more than one coronary artery has become blocked - this is known as multi-vessel disease.
  • Whether you have a history of serious heart disease - this could include heart failure.

Your cardiology team can give you more information about your individual circumstances and level of risk.


Complications that can occur after an angioplasty include:

  • a heart attack, which is estimated to occur in 1 in 100 cases
  • a stroke, which is estimated to occur in 1 in 200 cases
  • excessive bleeding after the operation, which is estimated to occur in 1 in 200 cases and requires a blood transfusion
  • death, which is estimated to occur in 1 in 500 cases
Medical Review: February 06, 2012
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