skip to main content
For New Patients
Healtheuniversity > English > Cardiac College > Treat Heart Disease > Heart Procedures > Angioplasty (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention or PCI)

Angioplasty (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention or PCI)

 Coronary artery with plaque build up. Balloon angioplasty pushes   the plaque against the walls of the artery making the opening larger. A   stent is placed in the artery to hold the artery open.

An angioplasty is performed to open up the artery when the artery has narrowed due to a significant plaque buildup.

  • During an angioplasty, a catheter (a thin tube) is inserted into the coronary artery at the point where the plaque has narrowed it.
  • A balloon, which is attached to the catheter, is inflated and compresses the plaque from the inside outwards to open up the artery.
  • Angioplasty with stent: Once the balloon is inflated, a stent (a metal mesh) is sometimes placed in the artery to hold it open. The balloon is taken out and the stent remains in the artery.

See how an angioplasty can help your heart (opens in new window) »

See how a stent can help blood to better flow through your coronary arteries (opens in new window) »

Last Reviewed: