Cardiac Balloons

A balloon catheter, or angioplasty balloon, is a small tube which has a balloon mounted at the distal end. These catheters consist of two integrated parts: the catheter to deliver the balloon to the lesion or blockage, and the balloon to dilate the vessel or stent. When a balloon catheter is used to compress plaque within a clogged coronary artery it is referred to as a plain old balloon angioplasty or POBA. Balloon catheters are also utilized in the deployment of stents during angioplasty and some are supplied to the cardiac catheterization lab with a stent pre-mounted on the balloon. When the cardiologist inflates the balloon it expands the stent. When the cardiologist subsequently deflates the balloon the stent stays behind in the artery and the balloon catheter can be removed. This document provides an overview of these products and current evidence regarding their use.

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