Balloon Angioplasty and Heart Stents

At UT Southwestern, our doctors are involved in ongoing cardiac research and are active participants in work being done by national heart committees. As a result, we are at the vanguard of the newest technologies and most innovative approaches to angioplasty and heart stents.

We work closely with our patients to choose a treatment that results in the best possible outcomes based on their condition.

Patients at UT Southwestern have access to the most effective stent technology – including drug-eluting stents that release medication at intervals to reduce the risk of the vessels re-narrowing.

We offer transradial angioplasty, which is angioplasty done through the wrist instead of the groin or through open surgery. This approach results in faster recovery times and fewer complications.

Conditions and Symptoms

Arteries often become blocked because of heart diseases such as atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, and carotid artery disease.

Balloon angioplasty and heart stent insertion are usually offered when medications have failed or when a patient has a heart attack that does not require bypass surgery.


Patients undergoing a cardiac catheterization diagnostic procedure often receive treatment at the same time.

Doctors use the catheter and attached tools to view the location and severity of the blockage and then decide whether to use a balloon angioplasty or place a heart stent.


In angioplasty, your surgeon uses a thin, flexible tube (catheter) with a balloon or other device at its tip. The cardiologist guides the catheter to the site of the narrowed or blocked artery and inflates the balloon to compress plaque against the artery wall to help restore the flow of blood through the artery.

If the surgeon decides that a stent is warranted to prevent this area from closing, the balloon catheter is removed and a bare-metal or drug-eluting heart stent is placed in the area where the angioplasty is done to prevent the artery from closing again.

After the procedure is complete, all catheters and guidewires are removed, and the tiny incision is closed using stitches.

During the procedure, the patient is under local anesthesia.

Clinical Trials

UT Southwestern cardiologists are actively involved in research related to angioplasty and heart stents.

When appropriate, patients have access to cardiology clinical trials that may offer medical therapies and medications that are not yet available to the general public.

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with an interventional cardiologist at UT Southwestern’s facilities in Dallas or for more information about our services, please fill out the Request an Appointment or call 214-645-8300.