Therapeutic opening of a blocked blood vessel. Usually a balloon is inflated near the end of a catheter (see catheterization) to flatten plaques (see atherosclerosis) against an artery's wall. Performed on a coronary artery, angioplasty is a less invasive alternative to coronary bypass surgery in the treatment of coronary heart disease. Complications, including embolisms and tearing, are rare and results are excellent, but plaques tend to build up again after the procedure. Angioplasty is also used to expand a severely obstructed heart valve.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on angioplasty, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up angioplasty? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More