During an angiogram the cardiologist may decide to treat stenosis if any is present by inserting a small balloon catheter into any artery showing signs of stenosis. Once placed in the area of narrowed artery the cardiologist inflates the balloon and this stretches the artery back open. This is called a “Balloon Angioplasty“.
If the stenosis is significant the cardiologist may be concerned that the widening of the artery done with the balloon catheter might not remain open and they may decide to insert a “STENT“.
A) A coronary artery showing significant blockage.
B) An inflated balloon inserted via catheter into the area of the blockage.
C) The artery after balloon angioplasty.
It should be noted that there is a greater chance of re-stenosis (the artery closing back to its previous blocked condition) with balloon angioplasty. Depending on the amount of stenosis your cardiologist may opt to insert a STENT into the affected area.