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Summary

Angioplasty is a medical procedure to remove obstructions from clogged arteries. It is less invasive than coronary bypass surgery. The idea is to introduce into the artery a flexible tube called a catheter with a small, inflatable balloon attached to one end.

The progress of the guiding catheter is followed on a control screen (this is called interventional radiology).  After the catheter has reached the site of the atheromatous plaque, the balloon is inflated and deflated several times.

If the odds that the artery will become obstructed again are considered high, the catheter and balloon are used to deploy a small spring, called stent or stent graph.  The stent will prop the artery open after the withdrawal of the catheter.

Learning goals

  • To describe the placement of a stent in a coronary artery.
  • To understand the function of the catheter to inject contrast dye and guide the stent into the artery
  • To illustrate the use of radiography for not just for diagnosis but for medical treatment: interventional radiology.

Keywords

Learn more

Angioplasty is a surgical procedure that restores blood flow in a vessel narrowed or clogged. It has been used since 1977 as an alternative to coronary bypass, a much more invasive open heart…

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