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Understanding Angioplasty

Coronary angioplasty can be used to restore blood flow to damaged heart tissue (depicted in gray) caused by coronary artery disease. A doctor uses a syringe to puncture a large peripheral artery, usually the femoral artery in the leg. A slender catheter (tube) with a balloon tip is inserted into the needle and threaded through the arteries and aorta until it reaches the obstructed coronary artery. The balloon tip is then inflated until the obstruction is cleared.