An angioplasty your doctor can perform to open the blood vessels that supply blood to your heart muscle. These blood vessels are also known as coronary arteries. Doctors often perform this procedure immediately after a heart attack.

The procedure is also called a “percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty.” In many cases, they insert a coronary artery stent following angioplasty. The stent helps keep the blood flowing and the artery from narrowing again.

Having an angioplasty within the first hours after a heart attack may reduce your risk of having another. Timing is crucial. According to the Harvard Heart Letter, angioplasty performed more than 24 hours following a heart attack may not provide any benefits. The faster you receive treatment for a heart attack, the lower the risk of heart failure and other complications.