SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Balloon catheter in leg artery. Coloured X-ray of a balloon catheter (centre) being expanded in an artery. The catheter is the narrow tube running from top to bottom, and has been inserted into the artery to place the balloon catheter in the correct position. The balloon is then inflated, in this case to widen the artery to treat stenosis (narrowing) of the artery. This technique is known as angioplasty. The blockage is usually a fatty deposit known as an atheroma. This is the right femoral artery in the leg. A contrast medium has been injected into the blood to highlight the blood vessels, a technique known as angiography.
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