Angioplasty, with or without vascular stenting, is a minimally invasive procedure performed to improve blood flow in the body’s arteries and veins and is usually performed in an interventional radiology suite.
In an angioplasty procedure, imaging techniques are used to guide a balloon-tipped long thin tube called a catheter into an artery or vein and advance it to where the vessel is narrow or blocked. The balloon then is inflated to open the vessel, deflated and removed.
During angioplasty, a small wire mesh tube called a stent may be permanently placed in the newly opened artery or vein to help it remain open. There are two types of stents: bare stents (wire mesh) and covered stents (also commonly called stent grafts).