Balloon Angioplasty and Coronary Artery Balloon Dilation. (View an animation of angioplasty)
What the Procedure Does
Special tubing with an attached deflated balloon is threaded up to the coronary arteries. The balloon is inflated to widen blocked areas where blood flow to the heart muscle has been reduced or cutoff. Often combined with implantation of a stent to help prop the artery open and decrease the chance of another blockage. Considered less invasive because the body is not cut open. Lasts from 30 minutes to several hours.
Reason for the Procedure
- Greatly increases blood flow through the blocked artery.
- Decreases chest pain (angina).
- Increases ability for physical activity.
- Reduces risk of a heart attack.
- Can also be used to open neck and brain arteries to help prevent stroke.