Angioplasty Coronary Angioplasty (PCI)
A percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is also commonly known as a coronary angioplasty. This technique is used when the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart, are narrowed or blocked due to plaque build-up. During the procedure a flexible tube, called a catheter, is inserted into the blocked artery and will inflate to open the blocked vessels and restore blood flow.
A stent is also used during this procedure to help prevent the artery from closing again. A stent is a wire mesh tube that is placed in the blocked area to keep the artery open. This procedure can be used for the treatment of certain heart diseases such as blockage in an artery during or after a heart attack or persistent chest pain.
Peripheral artery angioplasty
Similar to a coronary angioplasty, a peripheral artery angioplasty is used for the treatment of blocked or narrowed arteries in the peripheral arteries, like the hands, mouth and feet. Once the catheter is inserted and the balloon is inflated, a small metal stent is placed to keep the artery opened.
Carotid angioplasty is a procedure that can be used in place of surgery to treat the build-up of fat and cholesterol deposits inside the arteries of the carotid. This build-up can narrow arteries and possibly lead to stroke. However, with the carotid angioplasty, a tiny balloon is inserted into the clogged artery and inflated to widen the artery.
A stent is often used in combination with the angioplasty. A stent is a small metal coil that helps keep the artery open and decreases the chances of it narrowing again in the future.