Angioplasty, also known as percutaneous intervention, is a procedure in which a thin tube called a catheter is threaded into the heart with a deflated balloon at the tip. The balloon is then inflated to open spots where blood flow has been reduced or blocked. While doing an angioplasty, doctors may also implant a mesh tube called a stent to help prop open the artery, reducing the chance of another blockage. Another type of angioplasty is a laser angioplasty; instead of a balloon, the catheter carries a laser tip that sends pulsating beams of light to clear blockages.

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