Angioplasty and Stenting
Atherectomy is often, but not always, immediately followed by a balloon angioplasty and the insertion of a stent, a metal mesh tube that is inserted into a blood vessel to hold it open. Balloon angioplasty is also a minimally invasive procedure performed using a local anesthetic.
During balloon angioplasty, the doctor inflates a surgical balloon and pushes it through the catheter and into the blood vessel. Afterward, he or she may place a stent in the vessel. This enables it to heal after the procedure and improves blood flow. The surgeon removes the balloon but leaves the stent in place permanently. The procedure lasts 30 to 90 minutes, depending on how severe the blockage is.