Angioplasty is the technique of mechanically widening a narrowed or obstructed blood vessel; typically as a result of atherosclerosis. Tightly folded balloons are passed into the narrowed locations and then inflated to a fixed size using water pressures some 75 to 500 times normal blood pressure (6 to 20 atmospheres).
The word is composed of the medical combining forms of the Greek words αγγειος aggeîos meaning "vessel" and πλαστός plastós meaning "formed" or "moulded". Angioplasty has come to include all manner of vascular interventions typically performed in a minimally invasive or percutaneous method.
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