The aim of any heart attack treatment is to clear the blockage in the artery as quickly as possible. Primary angioplasty is one way of doing this.
The primary angioplasty procedure
- A catheter (thin, hollow tube) is inserted through a small cut in your groin or wrist.
- The catheter is guided through the aorta (the main artery of the body) into the blocked artery in the heart.
- At the tip of the catheter is a small balloon. This is inflated, clearing the blockage in the artery. Around the balloon is a small metal tube, which can expand, called a stent.
- After 10 to 20 seconds, the balloon is deflated and taken out. The stent stays in place and holds the artery open. This means that blood can flow down through the artery again.