Angioplasty (PTCA) is an interventional non-invasive procedure performed with the aim of widening narrowed or blocked blood vessels of the heart to aid in normal healthy blood flow. The purpose of an Angioplasty is to improve blood flow to the heart.
With the assistance of a stent, a balloon is fed through the narrowed section of the artery and blown up to widen the artery. An angioplasty is often accompanied by a stent that is used to keep the artery open and clear after the procedure.
Angioplasty can be used to treat symptoms of Atherosclerosis such as Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).
An Angioplasty can be used after or during a severe heart attack to reduce damage to the heart muscle and increase blood flow to the heart. It can be done on patients with Angina, which is when severe heart pain occurs.
The doctor will make a small incision in the groin, arm or wrist to place the catheter. The catheter will be inserted and fed through an artery that leads to your heart. A dye is injected through the catheter into the blood vessels using X-ray images to view the clogged section of your artery.
A thin wire stent (expandable mesh tube) with a deflated balloon at the end of it will be fed through the catheter. As the stent reaches the fatty area, the balloon will be inflated to clamp the fatty tissue, providing more room for blood to flow through to the heart.
After the balloon has been deflated and removed, the stent is typically left inside the artery to keep the artery from narrowing again. Sometimes a medicated stent is used to aid in keeping the artery open. Your doctor will decide whether you need a stent and/or what kind of stent should be used for your specific situation.