Watch an animation on angioplasty with stenting from the INTEGRIS Heart Hospital
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. Frequently after the angioplasty, the physician may insert a stent (a small expandable wire tube) to hold the coronary vessel open.