Balloon Angioplasty and Stent Placement

Angioplasties restore normal blood flow to the patient’s heart muscle, and work by widening heart arteries when they are clogged with a buildup of cholesterol, cells or other substances (plaque). Once an occlusion is outlined by angiography, angioplasties work to both help the artery widen as well as decrease its chance of being clogged again. A balloon angioplasty opens narrowed arteries by using a long, thin tube called a catheter. Following this, a balloon is inflated at the site of the occlusion several times, opening enough to widen the artery. This compresses the plaque against the artery wall and opens the narrowed spot. Balloon angioplasty was until recently the only nonsurgical invasive treatment for this kind of condition, but with the invention of stents and other intravascular treatments, it is often now used in conjunction with a range of other techniques. 

Balloon Angioplasty and Stent Placement



A balloon angioplasty is a treatment for a type of a heart disease known as atherosclerosis. Patients with blockages in their arteries may need an angioplasty if medication and lifestyle changes are not enough to improve their health, if they are experiencing high levels of chest discomfort, or have suffered a heart attack. However, angioplasty isn’t for everyone. If a patient’s main artery is narrow, they have multiple diseased blood vessels or their heart muscle is weak, angioplasty may not be a suitable treatment.
A stent is a tiny wire mesh tube made from metallic or other body friendly materials and used to prop open the artery during angioplasty. It has become the most widely used non-surgical invasive technique since their invention. A stent is often placed during or immediately after angioplasty, and stays in the artery to help prevent it from closing up again. As such, stents reduce the chance of a heart attack, improve blood flow, and relieve chest pain. Although stents are a commonly used treatment, a restenosis (renarrowing) may occur after the procedure, with chances of this depending on the type and length of the stent as well as the cause of the underlying pathology.

How Is It Performed?
  1. The doctor makes an incision over patient’s groin or arm and places a thin tube (called catheter) into an artery. 
  2. This catheter is passed through the arterial system until it gets into patient’s left or right coronary artery.
  3. Watching on a special X-ray screen, the doctor is able to move the catheter into the artery. After that, a very small wire is passed through the catheter and beyond the narrowed area. Over this wire, a small sausage shaped balloon which is passed to the blockage.
  4. The balloon is inflated which helps pushing the plaque to the side and makes the artery widen and the blood flow more easily. This may be done several times.
  5. In many patients, it is suitable to use a tube (stent) which is fitted onto the balloon and opens up when the balloon is inflated. The stent will be in this position and helps keep the artery widen.
  6. The balloon and catheters will be taken out in the end. Stent remains.


What Happens After My Stent Placement?
  • After uncomplicated and non-emergency stent placement, patients will remain hospitalized at least one night while their heart is monitored and their medications are adjusted. Sometimes a longer stay is required depending the patient’s case  (2-3 days).
  • Patients need to avoid intense physical activity after the procedure and need to ask their doctor how soon and at what level they can begin or return to exercise after coronary angioplasty (always depending on the complexity of the patient’s case)
  • After a stent procedure, a dose of aspirin and another anticlotting medicine can be recommended by the doctor.
  • Patients cannot take a bath or swim in a pool for at least one week after the procedure.
  • After uncomplicated and non-emergency stent placement, patients are fit to fly in 2-3 days.
Show More Detail

Please Fill Out Our Form

* Please fill marked fields.