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Angioplasty is a treatment for the relief of angina, a type of chest pain. This occurs when arteries become blocked and cannot get oxygen to the heart.

Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PCTA)

Angioplasty uses a balloon mounted on a catheter to open these clogged arteries. This is done in our cath lab and usually includes placing a metal stent to keep the blocked artery open. Many times patients tell us that the chest pain improves immediately.

Balloon Catheters

One of the most effective procedures that treat blockage in a coronary artery is a percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PCTA). A small balloon is inserted to the point where the blockage has developed and it is inflated, improving blood flow. This balloon catheter angioplasty procedure is almost always done in conjunction with stenting. This combination procedure is most commonly performed on patients with blockages in one or two arteries.

“Many times patients tell us that their chest pain improves immediately.”

Antoine Rizk, MD, Cardiologist at Memorial Health System


In a stenting procedure, a small, metal mesh tube called a stent is inserted into the narrowed coronary artery, acting as a scaffold. The balloon catheter, placed over a guide wire, is used to insert the stent. When the balloon is inflated, the stent expands and holds the artery open.

Deflation and Healing

Next, the balloon is deflated and removed, and the stent remains in the artery permanently. For several weeks following the procedure, the artery heals around the stent, which diminishes the possibility of the artery becoming narrowed and blocked again.

If a patient has blockages in more than two coronary arteries, it may be necessary for them to undergo a coronary artery bypass graft surgery instead.