Angioplasty is used to re-open coronary arteries that have become narrowed by atherosclerotic plaque. This procedure is used to treat blocked coronary arteries as well as arteries in other parts of the body. Angioplasty requires only local anesthesia and sometimes mild sedation (relaxing medications). Patients typically spend the night in the hospital and are able to return to normal activity in a day or two.
During balloon angioplasty, a thin tube (catheter) is inserted into an artery in the groin. A tiny balloon is then passed through the catheter and is guided to the narrowed area(s), where the balloon is expanded to stretch open the artery.