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Angioplasty

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Angioplasty (or Balloon angioplasty) is an endovascular procedure to widen narrowed or obstructed arteries or veins, typically to treat arterial atherosclerosis. An empty, collapsed balloon, known as a balloon catheter, is passed over a wire into the narrowed locations and then inflated to a fixed size. The balloon forces expansion of the stenosis (narrowing) within the vessel and the surrounding muscular wall, opening up the blood vessel for improved flow, and the balloon is then deflated and withdrawn. A stent may or may not be inserted at the time of ballooning to ensure the vessel remains open.

Reasons

  • 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.

Angioplasty

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