What Happens During Angioplasty Procedure?

People having angioplasty will be admitted in the hospital in a special room called cardiac catheterization. The patient will stay awake and lying down. He or she may get medicine through an intravenous line. This small tube goes into the vein of the hand or arm. Angioplasty is done through a blood vessel in the arm, wrist, or groin. The doctor will make a small opening in that area to insert a thin tube into a blood vessel. The tube is threaded through the vessel to the heart using x-rays as a guide. The contrast dyes are injected into the arteries. This dye highlights the heart and blood vessels in the x-rays. The first tube is replaced with another tube that has a small deflated balloon at the end. The balloon is guided inside the blockage and inflated to push the plaque flat against the artery wall. This might make the artery wider and improve blood flow. Sometimes a small mesh tube is inserted into the artery to keep it open. This tube is called a stent. Some stents have a medicine coating that helps prevent blood clots from forming.