Angioplasty & Stents
Increasing Blood Flow to Your Heart
Angioplasty and stents are procedural methods offered in Mercy Health's wide array of heart and vascular services. Both are non-surgical procedures that help to restore and maintain blood flow to your heart.
What is Angioplasty?
Angioplasty is a minimally-invasive procedure that clears narrowed or blocked arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. If left untreated, excessive fat and cholesterol buildup — known as plaque — will eventually lead to a heart attack. Many factors contribute to the buildup of plaque, including your diet and exercise habits.
During this procedure, a long, thin tube called a catheter that has a balloon on the tip of it is inserted into the artery. The balloon is inflated at the blockage site to compress the plaque against the wall of the artery, increasing the flow of blood. In order to prevent the artery from becoming blocked again long-term, a stent is usually put in place during angioplasty.
What is a Stent?
A stent is a small, mesh tube used to prevent the inside of your coronary arteries from becoming blocked and increase the blood flow to your heart. The stent is placed inside of your artery during angioplasty and, after the procedure is finished, it holds the artery open and releases drugs that prevent it from becoming blocked long-term.