Blood flow to a narrowed area of your artery may be improved by stretching open the narrowing with a small cylindrical balloon. The balloon is position across the narrowed area of the artery, and when inflated the balloon stretches the artery wall and compresses the fatty plaque/ cholesterol.
Once the narrowing has been widened, a stent is usually inserted. A stent is a very fine mesh cylinder usually composed of stainless steel or cobalt. The stent then acts as a metal scaffolding to support that section or artery. Once the stent has been positioned, it cannot be moved or removed and over time the stent will become embedded in the artery wall.
Following a PTCA/stenting procedure, it is current practice for most patients to remain monitored in hospital overnight.
At all times, please do not hesitate to ask questions about your procedure or your hospitalisation. Not all coronary artery narrowings are suitable for angioplasty. Some lesions (narrowings) diagnosed during angiography may best be treated medically and others may best be treated surgically, that is, by coronary artery bypass grafting. Your doctor will discuss treatment options with you and explain the reasons for his/her recommendations.