Balloon angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to treat coronary artery disease. The goal of balloon angioplasty is to push the fatty plaque back against the artery wall to make more room for blood to flow through the artery. This improved blood flow reduces the risk of heart attack and sudden cardiac death. 
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the procedure (take your morning pills with sips of water only). 
  • If you are diabetic, and take insulin, check with your doctor about your insulin dose for the morning of your treatment. 

An intravenous catheter (IV) will be started for fluids and medication. A local anesthetic will be used to numb a specific area of your body (usually the groin area where the femoral artery is located). A thin tube with an uninflated balloon at the tip will be guided into the artery. Once the balloon-tipped catheter is at the site of the blockage, the balloon is inflated, pushing the plaque in the artery back against the artery wall. The balloon-tipped catheter is then removed and a stent (a wire mesh tube used to hold the artery open) may be placed. 
Let the staff know immediately if you experience any symptoms during the procedure such as: 

  • Dizziness 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Back pain 
  • Chest discomfort

Let the staff know immediately if you experience any symptoms after the procedure such as: 

  • Redness or swelling 
  • Bleeding or wetness at the cath site 
  • Pain or numbness 
  • A knot at the site larger than a small marble
  • Fever or chills 
The catheterization will take approximately 45 minutes to complete.