A little. There is some discomfort in the location where the catheter is inserted (groin, arm, or wrist), but the skin is locally anesthetized to minimize this. There is discomfort when the dilating balloon is inflated, but you are sedated to minimize this and it's always <60 seconds. Otherwise, it doesn't hurt. Most people who have been through it will tell you it's really not bad.
Sedation helps! There is some pain like a small needle stick and burning sensation when local anesthesia is injected around the artery. There may be some chest pain for the few seconds when the balloon is inflated. There may be momentary pinching type pain when artery is closed or some discomfort when pressure is applied on the artery. Some people with arthritis have back or joint pain from lying on the table.
Heart vessel therapy. Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) is the opening of blocked heart arteries with a balloon. An artery is stuck and a wire is passed in the system until reaching the heart arteries. A balloon is passed over the wire to the area of blockage and inflated. The blockage is flattened but it can return. So most patients actually get stents placed. Stents require blood thinners.
Hydraulic Expansion. Of the blood vessel, usually an artery, using pressures ranging from ~50 to 250 times usual BP in an artery. Per cutaneous=across/through skin (via needle, no open surgical wound), coronary=heart, angio=blood (actually blood vessel), plasty=physical change /remolding of tissue wall enclosing the blood via hydraulic inflation. Done to treat symptoms, does not reverse disease yet complicates disease.
Not usually. A ptca, the procedure where a baloon is inserted in an artery to dilate it is done with anesthesia so during the procedure itself, pain should be almost non-existent, but certainly possible. After the procedure, the majority of patients have some pain, but it is tolerable and/or treatable. Persistent pain should always be evaluated by the trearting physician.
Not really. A needle is placed in a large artery in your groin or a small artery in your wrist. Most of the common side effects of pain and discomfort ar related to the cath site above.
Catheter based. A catheter is placed in an artery leg or arm a ballon expands and dilates the blood vessel to correct the narrowing.
Angioplasty. Yes, it is a common procedure in the cardiology field.
Yes. Millions done every year.
In good hands, no. Ptca has become very routine, and is now routinely done in centers without cardiac suregry back-up as was formerly recommended. However, like any complex procedure, results are much better in the hands of experienced cardiologists working at high-volume centers.
Some risk exists. It is generally safe but not without some risk. Bleeding complications happen about 1 in 200 times which rarely requires blood transfusion, damage to artery requiring surgical repair also rarely happens. Risk of the artery being opened closing completely requiring emergency bypass may happen 1 in 100 times but is becoming less and less frequent with advanced stents. Death from procedure is rare.