After you are sedated, the surgeon inserts a thin, flexible tube called a catheter through a femoral artery in the thigh and carefully guides it to the narrowed part of the iliac artery.
Balloon is inflated, stent is expanded
The surgeon guides the catheter to the narrowed part of the artery and inflates a small balloon at the end of a tube. The balloon may remain inflated for a short time. If the doctor is going to place a stent in the artery, the balloon is inflated inside of the stent. The pressure from the inflated balloon causes the stent to expand and press the plaque against the wall of the artery, creating more room for blood to flow.
Balloon is removed, stent is in place
Next, the surgeon deflates the balloon and removes it, leaving the expanded stent in place to keep the walls of the artery open.
Before and after surgery
Angioplasty can widen a narrowed part of an artery. This increases the flow of oxygen-rich and nutrient-rich blood to the leg.