Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty (PTCA)
PTCA is a treatment for patients with coronary artery disease (obstructed blood flow through the coronary arteries). The physician inserts a special catheter (a thin, flexible tube) into the femoral artery. The catheter has a balloon at its tip. X-ray is used to help the doctor thread the catheter into position at the site of the blockage in the coronary artery. Then the balloon is inflated, pushing the plaque in the artery back against the wall of the artery. A stent (a wire mesh tube) may be inserted to hold the artery open. The catheter is then removed.