Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to widen narrowed or blocked arteries or veins. It is frequently used to treat atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaque builds up on the artery walls. 

How an Angioplasty Works

  • During an angioplasty (also known as a percutaneous coronary intervention), a balloon is inserted into a coronary artery through a catheter.
  • The balloon is inflated, and the plaque-causing a blockage is compressed against the wall, opening the artery.

Coronary Artery Stents

  • Often, an angioplasty will involve stents. Stents are tiny metal lattices that are stretched tightly over a deflated balloon.
  • The stent plus balloon is positioned in the middle of the blockage and the balloon inflated.
  • The action springs the metal stent against the wall of the artery, which holds the blockage material out of the center of the artery. The stent expands and locks in place.  
  • The balloon is then deflated and removed.

Why Choose Valley for Angioplasty and Stents?

  • Cleveland Clinic alliance: Valley’s heart program is in alliance with Cleveland Clinic's Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute. That means our patients benefit from additional heart expertise from the No. 1 heart program in the nation (as ranked by U.S. News & World Report since 1995) without leaving their own city.
  • Advanced diagnosis options: Heart specialists at Valley perform intravascular ultrasound and fractional flow reserve (FFR), which measure the pressure and flow through specific arteries. These measures can be used to diagnose issues related to blocked and narrowed arteries that might need treatment with angioplasty, or, percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
  • Radial artery approach: For our catheter procedures (including angioplasty), physicians at Valley insert a catheter into the radial artery in the wrist rather than the femoral artery in the groin. Using the radial artery minimizes the risk of bleeding, improves patient satisfaction and reduces recovery times. Often, patients are able to go home the same day.
  • Same-day angioplasty: At Valley, an angioplasty, or PCI, can be performed for certain patients as a same-day procedure if they meet stringent criteria to ensure patients’ safety. Our patients receive follow-up calls at home to ensure a healthy recovery.