How angioplasty is performed
Before the beginning of the angioplasty procedure, you are given pain medication. You may also be given blood thinners to prevent blood clots from forming.
Once you are lying on a padded table, your heart physician will insert a flexible tube or catheter through a needle puncture into an artery in your groin, arm or wrist.
Your physician uses live X-rays to guide the catheter into your heart and arteries carefully. Dye is injected into your body to provide a picture of the blood flow through your arteries and lets your heart physician see any blockages in the blood vessels.
A guide wire is moved into and across the blockage. A balloon catheter is then advanced over the guide wire and into the blockage, where the balloon inflates to open the blocked vessel and restore sufficient blood flow to the heart. A stent may be placed in the blockage and also expands when the balloon is inflated. The stent is left in your artery to help keep it open.