Interventional cardiology is the specialized branch of cardiology that treats coronary artery disease with balloon angioplasty and stenting, therapies that unblock clogged arteries that supply blood to the heart, stop heart attacks and relieve angina, or chest pain. To perform angioplasty, doctors, called interventional cardiologists, thread a small, flexible tube, or catheter, with an uninflated balloon on its tip, from an artery in the groin to the blockage. At the blockage, they inflate the balloon to push open the blockage and restore blood flow through the artery. They may also guide a stent, a tiny mesh tube, to the point of the blockage to “prop open” the artery.
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