During your cardiac catheterization your cardiologist may find artery blockages that are suitable for angioplasty. A small tube with a balloon on the end is inserted into the artery and positioned over the area of the blockage. The balloon is then inflated for short intervals to compress the plaque or fatty deposits against the artery wall in order to open the artery and allow more blood flow to the heart muscle.


Stents are used to hold arteries open where there is an area of plaque or fatty deposit build up. Stents are tiny wire tubes on a balloon. Similar to angioplasty the balloon and stent are place over the blockage. The balloon is then inflated for short intervals. When the balloon is deflated and removed the stent stays in place at the area of the blockage. Several stents may be placed to hold open one blockage, or several stents may be placed in different areas if there is more than one blockage.

Stents may be placed in areas other than the heart such as the legs, renal (kidney) arteries, or the carotid arteries depending on your individual problems. The procedures are very similar to coronary stenting. The risks, benefits, and potential complications will be discussed at length with you prior to your procedure.

Angioplasty and stenting usually requires an overnight stay in the hospital

fatty deposits, clogged arteries, open artery

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