It all depends on the blockage, such as the composition. For example, a total blockage of solid plaque may pose difficulties because the plaque has to be broken first to get the catheter wire through it. Once a large enough hole is made, then the catheter is removed, and a deflated balloon with a collapsed stent around it is passed up to the blockage, positioned so it lays across the hole. Then the balloon is inflated which expands the stent into place. Most blockages can be relatively easily stented. When the balloon is inflated, it stops blood flow through the artery and for about 20-30 seconds you feel some chest pain because this is basically simulating a heart attack.
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