What is Angioplasty?Angioplasty is a common, minimally invasive procedure performed to restore blood flow in arteries and veins that have become narrowed or blocked. Age or illness can cause plaque to build up at certain spots within the veins and arteries, and if enough collects, it can restrict the flow of blood. Angioplasty uses a tiny balloon at the end of a small, flexible tube to inflate within the narrowed section and open it up again. Angioplasty may be performed in several different areas of the body and for a variety of reasons, most often:
- Peripheral arterial disease, which reduces blood flow in the arms or legs
- Atherosclerosis, or general hardening of the arteries
- Carotid artery stenosis, or narrowing of the arteries in the neck that supply the brain
- Coronary artery disease, or narrowing of the arteries near the heart
- Renal vascular hypertension, or narrowing of the arteries in the kidney, leading to increased blood pressure
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