Angioplasty is an invasive procedure that does not require general anesthesia. It consists in widening of blood vessels, which have been narrowed or closed a result of the disease. The goal is to eliminate or alleviate symptoms and reduce the risk of acute ischemia and eventual brain stroke. The treatment consists in introducing into the narrowed vessel with a small balloon catheter, which is gradually filled with contrast, resultantly causing the expansion of the narrowed blood vessel. If the result is unsatisfactory doctor may decide grafted so called. "coronary stent" (metallic prosthesis) which is a kind of scaffolding for the narrowed artery.
The procedure is performed in the radiology department, which allows for continuous monitoring of the position of the stent in a coronary vessel. Once the stent is introduced into a target portion of the artery, the balloon is expanded, and the catheter is then removed, leaving the stent itself. Immediately after the procedure in order to avoid possible complications, the patient must lie for about 12 hours with a compression bandage.