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Angioplasty is also called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and is a procedure to widen or unblock an artery using a small inflatable balloon.
A PCI is used to treat the symptoms of coronary artery disease, which is narrowing of the coronary arteries (blood vessels that supply the heart muscle with oxygen).
A PCI usually takes between half an hour and two hours.
A sheath (a short, soft plastic tube used to access your artery) is usually inserted in your femoral artery near your groin.
The cardiologist will pass a catheter along the artery to your heart.
They will pass a small tube with a small inflatable balloon at the end down the catheter and across the narrowed part of the artery. They will then inflate the balloon to widen the artery. In most cases, they will also expand a stent inside the artery to hold it open (see figure 1).
It is important that you do not do any strenuous activity for about a week.
If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you will usually need to continue with most of the drugs you were on before the procedure.