Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a balloon to widen a narrowed artery or open a blocked artery for improved blood flow. It is also known as percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) or balloon angioplasty.
Our interventional cardiologists place a small balloon catheter in the artery through a puncture in the skin, advance it across the blockage, and inflate the balloon to "stretch" the artery open. Sometimes a stent that remains in place permanently is used to assist in keeping the artery open.
After a successful angioplasty and (when needed) stent procedure, medications such as aspirin and Plavix, taken daily, help keep the artery open. In addition, patients will need routine follow-up to monitor the status of the treated artery.
Interventional cardiologists perform minimally invasive procedures that rely on catheters and small incisions instead of traditional surgery.