Balloon angioplasty (coronary angioplasty, PTCA)

A therapeutic procedure performed during catheterization (Coronary Angiography) aimed at dilating a Coronary artery with stenosis caused by an atherosclerotic process. The dilatation is performed by inflating a balloon and exerting pressure upon the lipid plaque in the arterial wall.

The ballooning procedure can often replace the necessity of performing bypass surgery and an open heart operation may thus be spared from many patients, although not every lipid plaque can be dilated by this method.

One of the undesired adverse events of this procedure is re-occlusion of the dilated artery after a relatively short time. To minimize the chance of re-occlusion, stents are used.