Angioplasty is the insertion of a balloon into a blood vessel to widen the vessel and allow for improved blood flow. This is a typical treatment for atherosclerosis— the narrowing of blood vessels due to plaque buildup.
If you or a loved one is having angioplasty, keep reading to discover the ten things you need to know about this procedure.
1. Angioplasty is minimally invasive
Widening of a blood vessel does not require surgery. In an angioplasty, a cardiac catheter—a very narrow tube—will be inserted into a blood vessel in the groin or near the wrist. The balloon is then guided with a catheter to the point at which the blood vessel is narrow. There it is inflated, expanding the blood vessel around it. The balloon is then deflated and removed from the blood vessel.