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Angioplasty, a procedure commonly used to open blocked coronary arteries, is also an option to return blood flow to the brain for some stroke patients.
In this procedure, an interventionist threads a catheter containing a balloon to the site of the blocked carotid artery, and then inflates the balloon to open the artery.
The interventionist may also place a stent, a tiny device made of metal mesh, at the site of the blockage to help prevent future blockages that could cause strokes.
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