ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Angiography video of the thigh of a 53-year-old patient showing stenosis (narrowing, just above centre) of the femoral artery. The patient had hypertension (high blood pressure) due to heavy smoking and drinking. This stenosis caused poor blood flow to the leg. It will be treated with angioplasty. Angioplasty is the technique of mechanically widening a narrowed or obstructed blood vessel, using an empty and collapsed balloon on a guide wire (balloon catheter). This is passed into the narrowed locations and then inflated using water pressure to crush fatty deposits and open up the blood vessel for improved flow. The balloon is then deflated and withdrawn. Angiography is an imaging technique in which a radio-opaque contrast medium is injected into blood vessels to allow them to be seen on an X-ray.
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