OSCAR BURRIEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY OSCAR BURRIEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Heart surgery. Conceptual image of a man (lower centre) inserting a catheter into a branch of the coronary artery (dark red) of a heart. This represents an operation called an angioplasty. This operation involves inserting a deflated balloon catheter through a guide catheter to reach a blockage in a blood vessel. The balloon is then inflated to compress the blockage and re-establish the blood flow. A heart angioplasty is usually performed to treat angina pectoris, where restricted blood flow to the heart muscle causes intense pain. Angina can often lead to a heart attack.
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