Angioplasty is a treatment for narrowed or blocked arteries and veins in patients with coronary artery disease (heart attack, angina), peripheral artery disease, and carotid artery disease.

Angioplasty opens a blood vessel by inflating a small balloon inside it. The balloon compresses the fatty plaque that made the vessel narrow. In many cases, angioplasty is combined with stent placement, where a tiny tube is inserted to hold the artery open.

When angioplasty is performed in the blood vessels of the heart it is called coronary angioplasty or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). When done in the arteries that supply the arms and legs it is called peripheral angioplasty, and carotid angioplasty when done in the arteries that supply the head and neck.


How angioplasty works:

  • Your doctor will insert a balloon catheter.
  • The balloon will be inflated and deflated several times. This compresses the plaque and stretches the artery open.
  • The balloon will be removed, and blood will flow more freely through the artery.

Patient Instructions

Learn what happens (and what you need to do) before, during and after this procedure:

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