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Definition - What does angioplasty mean?

Angioplasty refers to a non-surgical medical procedure used to restore blood flow to a narrowed or clogged blood vessel. This procedure is most often used to treat an arterial blockage and involves threading a device through the circulatory system to reach the source of the blockage and remove it. Angioplasty is considered an alternative to bypass surgery and offers a less invasive treatment and a faster recovery time for patients.

SureHire explains angioplasty

Angioplasty is used to clear the narrowing or blockage of an atery caused by the build up of plaque. Most methods of angioplasty begin with a process called catherization in which a flexible tube is inserted into a blood vessel, usually at the groin or wrist. A doctor then guides the tube, or catheter, to the point of the blockage. Once the blockage is reached, the physician may inflate a small balloon attached to the end of the catheter that presses the paque against the walls of the atery, opening the vessel to increased blood flow. In an alternate method, a wire mesh tube called a stent is inserted into the artery to support and hold the arterial wall open. Rotoblation is another less frequently used method of angioplasty. Rotoblation employs a device to grind down the plaque into particles that can be disposed of by the body. Other methods combine the use of balloons and cutting devices to remove portions of the plaque. Angioplasty is considered an less invasive alternative to bypass surgery.

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