Doctor sitting with patient on couch
Doctor sitting with patient on couch

Angioplasty

Also known as: Vascular Stenting, Cardiac Catheterization

Providence is committed to providing the right care at the right time. With expertise, great technology and the patient’s comfort and best outcomes in mind, Providence uses procedures like angioplasty to effectively address heart blockage and help you get back to living your life.

Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a small balloon to widen a narrow or blocked artery.

Over time, arteries can develop of build-up of plaque, made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other matter. Angioplasty restores blood flow through the artery by flattening the plaque against the artery wall with the small inflated balloon.

While often used to help reduce the risk of a heart attack or damage after a heart attack, angioplasty is also used for other arteries in the body, such as legs and arms, kidneys and the neck.

To help determine where the angioplasty will be performed, your doctor will use a medical imaging technique called an angiogram.

In this procedure, a thin tube or catheter is inserted into an artery in your groin or arm and gently guided to the affected area. Then a special dye is injected through the catheter, allowing your doctor to observe blood flow through your arteries and pinpoint where the angioplasty needs to be performed.

During the angioplasty, a catheter with a small balloon at the tip is inserted and guided to the location of the blockage. The balloon is expanded to flatten the plaque against the artery wall, then deflated and removed.

Sometimes a small wire mesh called a stent is guided to the area on the balloon and remains in the artery wall permanently to help keep the artery open.

Angioplasty is a surgical procedure that does involve risk. Although uncommon, serious complications can occur, such as allergic reaction to the medication or dye, blood vessel damage, artery collapse, heart attack, angina and stroke.