Angioplasty is a procedure to open narrowed or blocked arteries caused by deposits of plaque. If the blockage is not major, the problem may be corrected by inflating the balloon several times to compact the plaque against the arterial wall, widening the passage for the blood to flow through. Typically, a device called a stent is placed within the coronary artery to keep the vessel open.
Reviewed last on: 10/10/2008
Larry A. Weinrauch, MD, Asst. Prof. of Med., Harvard Medical School, and Private practice specializing in Cardiovascular Disease, Watertown, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.