Health A-Z

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Although coronary angioplasty is generally a safe procedure, there is some risk, including:

  • A heart attack

  • The need for emergency coronary artery bypass surgery

  • A stroke

  • Puncture of a blood vessel or the heart

  • Bleeding, a blood clot or an infection at the catheter insertion site

  • A blocked blood vessel in the arm or leg where the catheter was inserted

  • An allergic reaction to the X-ray dye

Because some of these problems may be life threatening, coronary angioplasty should always be done in a hospital that has the necessary equipment and personnel to deal with any complications immediately.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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