Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) is a minimally invasive procedure where guide wires, catheters and stents are used to open blocked arteries within patients.
A needle is placed in the femoral artery in the leg, where a guide wire and catheter are introduced and pushed to the heart. The guide wire is removed and a dye is introduced through the catheter so an X-ray of the heart can be taken.
A balloon catheter then is introduced alongside another guide wire, and the obstructed areas within the arteries are opened to increase blood flow. A stent may also be introduced to keep the area from shrinking.