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What Is Angioplasty?

Angioplasty helps open blocked arteries that might impede blood flow to the heart.

During the procedure, a catheter in inserted into the blocked or narrowed part of the artery. A deflated balloon is then passed through the catheter and inflated, which compresses some of the plaque against the arterial wall.

When the balloon is deflated and removed, the plaque remains compressed. In some cases, however, a stent (wire mesh tube) may be left in the artery to support the arterial walls after the balloon is removed.