Since then we have developed into a cutting edge centre for angioplasty in the North West, performing around 1,300 procedures annually. Almost 80 per cent of these are urgent or emergency cases for heart attacks.
The unit offers urgent angioplasty services to our local area and to 14 surrounding district general hospitals in Greater Manchester and Cheshire. We also provide emergency angioplasty as part of a network for the immediate treatment of heart attacks (primary angioplasty) to over 3.2 million residents in and around the Greater Manchester area.
Coronary angioplasty involves the treatment of narrowings or blockages in the coronary arteries with fine wires and balloons introduced in a “key-hole” procedure from the top of the leg or wrist. In nearly all cases this involves leaving a metal tube made from a fine wire mesh called a stent in the vessel to serve as scaffolding to hold the artery open whilst it heals.
Angioplasty is performed in a variety of situations ranging from planned routine procedures for patients with troublesome angina to emergency procedures for patients suffering from an acute heart attack (primary angioplasty). Many patients who previously would have had to have a coronary bypass operation can now be successfully treated by angioplasty.
We utilise state-of-the-art technologies in our modern catheter laboratories, which have digital X-ray imaging facilities. We are nationally noted for our use of intra-coronary imaging, using tiny ultrasound or light-emitting probes to provide detailed pictures of heart arteries, and improve outcomes during stent procedures.
We routinely use pressure measurements inside the heart arteries to guide our treatments, and are even able to open arteries that have been blocked for many years. We are able to provide alternatives to surgery in patients who are unable to have full open-heart operations, and work closely with our surgeon and anaesthetic colleagues to provide the best care available for the very sickest and most vulnerable cardiac patients.
After-care following angioplasty and stenting is a vital part of recovery and we run a Cardiac Rehabilitation Outpatient Programme delivered by a team of healthcare professionals. This involves lifestyle and dietary advice, as well as a tailored exercise programme under supervision, to return patients to fitness. Find out more about the programme.
We are active and successful in recruiting to large international trials on emergency treatment for heart attacks, regularly publishing in major journals.
If you think that you or someone else is suffering a heart attack, you should call 999 immediately. Patients with unstable angina attacks are also admitted through 999 or A&E.
People with new onset stable angina are referred through their GP to the Rapid Access Chest Pain clinic, co-ordinated by Dr Anita MacNab. People with a pre-existent diagnosis of stable angina who do not need emergency admission are referred via their GP to the Cardiology outpatients.
A&E is signposted from Southmoor Road, the main entrance route to the hospital, through Entrance 1.
Cardiology Outpatients is based at the North West Heart Centre in the Yellow Zone, through Entrance 6 on Southmoor Road and Entrance 7 near Floats Road.