This animation depicts the treatment of atherosclerosis through an angioplasty procedure.

In an angioplasty, a long, thin, flexible tube called catheter is inserted into a small puncture over an artery. The catheter is guided through your arteries to the blocked area. Once in place, a special balloon, which is attached to the catheter, is inflated and deflated several times. The balloon pushes the plaque in your artery against your artery walls, widening the vessel. In some circumstances, a tiny mesh-metal tube, called a stent, may be placed into the narrowed area of your artery to keep it open. The stent remains permanently in your artery. After this procedure, blood flows more freely through your artery.

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