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Angioplasty is a procedure to improve blood flow in coronary arteries that have become narrow or blocked. Your coronary arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart. If you have coronary artery disease, a sticky material called plaque builds up in the coronary arteries. Plaque is made of cholesterol, calcium, and other substances in your blood. Over time, it can narrow your arteries or fully block them. When this happens, some parts of your heart don’t get enough blood.
Angioplasty widens the blocked part of the artery so more blood can get through. It is also called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
Doctors use angioplasty to:
Angioplasty does not cure coronary artery disease. To help prevent more plaque blockages, you’ll need to take any prescribed medicines, eat healthy foods, and get regular exercise.
Angioplasty is done through a blood vessel in your arm, wrist, or groin. Your doctor will:
If you had an angioplasty for chest pain, you’ll go to a recovery room for a few hours. You may stay in the hospital overnight. We will prescribe medicines to prevent blood clots. Most people can return to their usual activities after a week.
If you had an emergency angioplasty for a heart attack, you’ll need to stay in the hospital for about a few more days.