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Angioplasty (Primary & Non-Emergent)

When an artery carrying blood from the heart becomes clogged or collapses a procedure called angioplasty can open the blocked artery. During angioplasty, the cardiologist inserts a balloon-tipped catheter into the artery and places a metal mesh stent inside to hold open the artery. The balloon and stent push the plaque blocking the artery against the artery wall, reestablishing normal blood flow through the artery into the heart muscle.

Angioplasty may be done as emergency treatment for a heart attack (primary angioplasty) or as a method of preventing a heart attack (non-emergent angioplasty). Lowell General Hospital is one of the few community hospitals in Massachusetts under the MASS COMM clinical trial to provide both levels of angioplasty with the clinical team and catheterization laboratories to support such a complex range of treatment.

Read about heart disease as well as the advanced treatments used for it: Treating Patients and Presidents Alike: Artery repair for heart disease.

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