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Restenosis is a narrowing of an artery following an angioplasty or stenting procedure that was performed to open the artery. An angioplasty procedure uses a balloon catheter that is inflated to open a narrowed artery (shown in this illustration). A stenting procedure uses a balloon catheter with a collapsed wire mesh tube (a stent) that is opened and set in place when the balloon catheter is inflated. After time passes following the procedure the artery can narrow again, or undergo restenosis. In most cases, restenosis is caused by “scar tissue” as the cells of the blood vessel lining grow into the blood vessel and impair blood flow. It is less likely to be caused by atherosclerosis, the cause of the original blockage.
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