LUNAGRAFIX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LUNAGRAFIX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Balloon angioplasty. Coloured X-ray of balloon angioplasty being used to re-open a diseased saphenous vein in a person's leg. The balloon (thick tube, upper centre) has been inflated after being placed inside the vein. The balloon is on a thin wire which was guided into place using real- time X-ray imaging. Two surgical forceps are bright yellow. The tibia leg bone appears purple in the background. Blood vessels may become blocked by fatty plaques which restrict the flow of fluid. The inflated balloon compresses the plaque before being deflated and removed, allowing blood to flow again.
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