Angioplasty and stent placement—a procedure that widens a narrowed coronary artery—is done most often in people experiencing a heart attack or unstable angina. But some are done after a stress test suggests a possible blockage in one or more of the heart’s arteries. However, nonemergency or elective angioplasty is usually not necessary in people who don’t have angina. Medical therapy (including drugs and lifestyle changes) is just as effective for preventing a heart attack or death as angioplasty.
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