Angioplasty Meaning

Discover the meaning of angioplasty, a minimally invasive procedure to treat blocked blood vessels. Learn how it works, its benefits, real-life examples, and statistics.

What is Angioplasty?

Angioplasty, also known as percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA), is a minimally invasive procedure used to widen narrowed or blocked blood vessels. It is commonly performed on arteries that have become narrowed due to a buildup of plaque, a condition known as atherosclerosis.

How Angioplasty Works

During an angioplasty procedure, a thin tube called a catheter is inserted into the blocked artery. A small balloon at the tip of the catheter is inflated to compress the plaque against the artery walls, opening up the vessel and restoring blood flow.

Types of Angioplasty

  • Balloon angioplasty: the most common type, where a balloon is used to widen the artery.
  • Coronary angioplasty: specifically used to open up blocked coronary arteries.
  • Peripheral angioplasty: used to treat blockages in arteries outside of the heart, such as in the legs.

Benefits of Angioplasty

Angioplasty can help improve symptoms of conditions such as angina, reduce the risk of heart attacks, and increase blood flow to vital organs. It is a less invasive alternative to traditional open-heart surgery.

Real-life Examples

One case study reported a patient with severe chest pain who underwent coronary angioplasty and experienced immediate relief. Another example involved a diabetic patient with blocked leg arteries who regained mobility after peripheral angioplasty.

Statistics on Angioplasty

According to the American Heart Association, over 1 million angioplasty procedures are performed each year in the United States. The success rate of angioplasty is around 90%, with most patients experiencing improved blood flow and symptom relief.

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