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When plaque builds up on artery walls, blood flow is restricted. If this blood flow is interrupted for any reason, heart attack occurs. Coronary angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure to open a narrow artery. A tiny balloon is inflated and deflated to create pressure to clear the blockage. An atherectomy is another technique to clear blocked arteries. This procedure uses a tiny device or laser to shave, sand or vaporize plaque from coronary or peripheral arteries. These quick procedures can prevent further plaque buildup and heart attack.

How it works:

  1. A local anesthetic will numb the area where your doctor will make a small incision.
  2. Your doctor will insert a small tube (about the size of a pencil) through the artery to clear the blockage.
  3. The delivery tube will inflate and deflate a tiny balloon to stretch the artery.
  4. A mesh stent may also be inserted to hold the artery open.
  5. When the artery is clear, your doctor will remove the tube.

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