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Angioplasty is used to open narrowed arteries and increase oxygen-rich blood flow to muscle and tissue.
After you are sedated, the surgeon inserts a thin, flexible tube called a catheter through a femoral artery in the thigh and carefully guides it to the narrowed part of the iliac artery.
The surgeon guides the catheter to the narrowed part of the artery and inflates a small balloon at the end of a tube. The balloon may remain inflated for a short time. The pressure from the inflated balloon causes the mesh stent to expand and press the plaque against the wall of the artery, creating more room for blood to flow.
Next, the surgeon deflates the balloon and removes it, leaving the expanded stent in place to keep the walls of the artery open.
Angioplasty reopens the blocked iliac artery, increasing the flow of oxygen-rich and nutrient-rich blood to the leg.
Last Revised: October 14, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & David A. Szalay, MD - Vascular Surgery
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