When your heart’s arteries become blocked or narrowed from cholesterol or plaque, angioplasty can help. During this minor procedure, we insert a thin tube called a catheter into a blood vessel in your arm, groin, or neck. Next, we extend the catheter to your heart as in a routine cardiac catheterization. When we reach the blockage, we inflate a very small balloon in the artery in order to open it and restore blood flow.
This is a similar procedure to a balloon angioplasty, Instead of using a balloon to open the artery, we use a laser to break down any blockage we find.
During this procedure, we place a small, metal mesh tube (a stent) inside your coronary artery. Because a stent prevents the artery from closing again, we often perform the procedure immediately following an angioplasty.