If you have coronary artery disease, the arteries in your heart are narrowed or blocked by a sticky material called plaque. Angioplasty is a procedure to restore blood flow through the artery.
You have angioplasty in a hospital. The doctor threads a thin tube through a blood vessel in the arm or groin up to the involved site in the artery. The tube has a tiny balloon on the end. When the tube is in place, the doctor inflates the balloon to push the plaque outward against the wall of the artery. This widens the artery and restores blood flow.
Doctors may use angioplasty to
- Reduce chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart
- Minimize damage to heart muscle from a heart attack
Many people go home the day after angioplasty, and are able to return to work within a week of coming home.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
- Angioplasty and Vascular Stenting (Radiological Society of North America, American College of Radiology) Available in Spanish
- Coronary Angioplasty (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) Available in Spanish
- Coronary Angioplasty and Stents (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Heart Stents and Angioplasty (Beyond the Basics) (UpToDate)
- How Is Coronary Angioplasty Done? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Stents (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- What Is Coronary Angioplasty? (American Heart Association)
- Arm Artery Access Safer for Angioplasty, Review Finds (11/13/2015, HealthDay)
- Angioplasty May Not Boost Survival for Some Heart Disease Patients (11/11/2015, HealthDay)
- Cardiac Catheterization (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Cardiac Procedures and Surgeries (American Heart Association)
- Coronary Artery Disease: Angioplasty or Bypass Surgery? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Drug-Eluting Stents: Do They Increase Heart Attack Risk? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Intravascular Ultrasound (Texas Heart Institute)
- Optical Coherence Tomography (Texas Heart Institute) Available in Spanish
- What Are the Risks of Coronary Angioplasty? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- What Are the Risks of Having a Stent? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Balloon angioplasty - short segment - Encyclopedia Available in Spanish
- Coronary Angioplasty Stent Placement (OR-Live) - Shawnee Mission Medical Center, Merriam, KS, 2/19/2009
- Directional coronary atherectomy (DCA) - Encyclopedia Available in Spanish
- Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) - Encyclopedia Available in Spanish
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Angioplasty (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Care of the Patient Undergoing Radial Approach Heart Catheterization: Implications...
- Article: Mechanism of Procedural Stroke Following Carotid Endarterectomy or Carotid Artery...
- Article: Factors Associated With and Outcomes After Ventricular Fibrillation Before and...
- Angioplasty -- see more articles