Following a cardiac
catheterization and a thorough heart assessment, your doctor may determine
that an angioplasty is the best treatment for your particular heart condition.
Angioplasty, also known as a percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty
(PTCA), is a common procedure used for treating blocked coronary arteries and
improving blood flow to the heart muscle. Angioplasty may be performed
separately, or in combination with other coronary interventions, such as
coronary stenting or coronary artherectomy.
Angioplasty is a procedure to enlarge the opening in a blood vessel that has become narrowed or blocked by plaque (a buildup of fat and cholesterol on the inner wall of the blood vessel). During an angioplasty, a small flexible tube (catheter) is inserted through an
artery in the groin area or in the arm. The catheter is carefully guided to the
blocked coronary artery. Once in the proper location, the physician inflates a
small balloon attached to the tip of the catheter. The pressure from the
inflated balloon compresses the plaque (a fatty substance that builds up inside
the lining of blood vessels creating blockages) against the wall of the artery,
opening the artery and improving blood flow.