The process is similar to that of a coronary angiogram. However, the catheter (a long flexible tube) has a small inflatable balloon on its tip. This is gently inflated at the site of the blockage so that it squashes the fatty tissue deposits that cause the narrowing against the wall of the artery to reduce the narrowing and improve the blood flow to the heart.
Once a balloon catheter is removed, it may be necessary to place a small wire tube, called a stent, into the artery. The stent expands as the balloon is inflated, so that the stent holds open the narrowed blood vessel. The balloon is then deflated and removed. This prevents narrowings from recurring at the site of the original lesion and maintains the flow of blood to the heart. This procedure may take a little longer than a coronary angiogram.