Reviewed by Elizabeth Klodas on January 23, 2014
Radiologyinfo.org.American Heart Association.About.com: "Angioplasty."Heartsite.com.California Pacific Medical Center.
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Narrator: Your heart receives oxygen and nutrients from blood flowing through your coronary arteries. Fatty deposits, called atherosclerotic plaque, can build up inside these arteries, narrowing the passageway and interfering with blood flow to your heart muscle. Instead of surgery, your doctor may perform less invasive procedures such as Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty, or P-T-C-A, and Stenting, to open narrowed arteries. Over 70% of coronary angioplasties include stenting. During these procedures, your doctor will insert a sheath, or soft plastic tube, into a large artery in your groin. Next a flexible wire will be guided through the sheath [pause] and gently up through your circulatory system into your narrowed coronary artery. Then your doctor will thread a balloon-tipped catheter, encircled by a balloon expandable stent, over the guide wire, gently advancing the catheter to the narrowed part of the artery. By inflating and deflating the balloon, your doctor will gently push against the plaque, compressing it against the vessel wall. The inflated balloon will then expand and lock the stent into place, keeping the artery open and improving blood flow after the catheter is removed.