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Angioplasty

balloon surgery deposits arteries

Angioplasty, set of techniques used in reconstructing damaged blood vessels, which may involve surgery, lasers, or tiny inflatable balloons. Usually, arteries that have become blocked by deposits of such substances as cholesterol or calcium—substances known as plaque—are reopened by inserting a catheter with an attached balloon into the diseased vessel where inflation of the balloon compresses or splits the deposits that clog the artery. Angioplasty is an important alternative to surgery for patients whose clogged coronary arteries predispose them to risk of a heart attack.

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