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Balloon Angioplasty (PTCA)

Balloon Angioplasty or PTCA (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty) is a special treatment for angina which is used when tablets don't get rid of your angina.

It is not an operation.  The doctor places a tiny balloon in the narrowed area of a coronary artery, blowing the balloon up and gently stretching open the narrowed area of the artery.  The balloon goes in through an artery at the top of your leg or occasionally in your arm.  The balloon is part of a fine soft tube which is taken out after the artery is stretched. 

Stents

Sometimes a small metal mesh support (a stent) will be put into your artery through the same tube to keep the narrowed bit open. 

You don't need to be put to sleep for this test.  You will be given some local anesthetic into the skin to freeze it.  You will also get some medicine to make you a bit drowsy and relaxed if you need it (and many people don't). 

Just like a coronary angiogram, the test is pretty painless. You will usually get home the next day. 


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