ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Femoral artery angioplasty. Coloured angiogram of a balloon catheter and stent (wire mesh tube) in the left femoral artery of a 49-year-old patient. The femur (thigh bone) runs down right. Angioplasty is a surgical procedure used to treat stenosis (narrowing) of arteries, a condition usually caused by atheroma (fatty deposits on the inner walls). A balloon catheter (line running down centre) has guided the stent (surrounding the catheter, centre) into place and a region been inflated to expand the stent. When the catheter is deflated and removed, the stent remains expanded and holds open the artery to ensure normal blood flow.
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