Could my father die during angioplasty?

1 answer | Last updated: May 09, 2009
Seherrera asked...

My father has Type II Diabetes and Congestive Heart Failure. His cardiologist said his heart is only working at 20%. They would like to do an angioplasty or an AICD implant. What are his chances of not making it during the procedure? He had to have half his foot amputated and they only did a local because they said if they put him under his chances of not making it during surgery were likely.

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Both of the procedures you listed can be done with sedation, which do not require anethesia.  Therefore they are less risky then a full surgical procedure.  Of course, there is a risk of death with any invasive procedure, but the cardiologist would be able to give you more detail about that, so please talk with them about it. 

The larger question is does your father want to be this invasive at this point in his life?  Is he able to make decisions at this point?  If he cannot tell you, then try to think about what he would want.  Both of these procedures are invasive, but they could potentially help him live a better quality of life.  It is a hard choice!  Good luck!