Angioplasty and Stents

An Angioplasty allows doctors to open narrowed arteries without surgery. This may be done in conjunction with a cardiac catheterization. It can help improve the flow of blood to the heart muscle. During an angioplasty, a catheter with a small balloon at the tip is advanced into the diseased artery. When the catheter reaches the diseased portion, the balloon is inflated. This process stretches the artery wall and compresses the fatty deposits against the artery wall. The larger opening allows more blood to flow through the artery.

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Stent

Following the angioplasty, your doctor may decide to implant a stent. Stents are tiny, expandable tubes made of metal mesh designed to open a blood vessel that is blocked by plaque. The angioplasty procedure opens the artery, and stents are placed and expanded to fit the size, shape and bend of the artery. The stent remains in the artery after the procedure to help keep the artery open. Over time, the artery wall heals around the stent.

Watch the following video to learn more about stents: