Using imaging for guidance, the interventionalist threads a catheter through the femoral artery in the groin to the blocked artery in the legs. Then he or she inflates a balloon to open the blood vessel where it is narrowed or blocked. In some cases, this is then held open with a stent, a tiny metal cylinder. This is a minimally invasive treatment that does not require surgery, just a nick in the skin the size of a pencil tip.

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