The exact design of balloon catheters varies by usage. On average, the balloon catheter consists of a long, thin tube with a deflated balloon at one end and an injection portal at the other. Insertion of the tube varies, as well, by procedure. Generally, the tube is lubricated, and then inserted into a cavity slowly. Once in place, the medical professional uses a syringe to inflate the balloon. The goal is to open the passage further.
Angioplasty – During cardiac catheterization, the doctor uses the balloon catheter to widen arteries. The surgeon makes a small incision and then inserts the catheter. It is then threaded through all the narrow passageways until the balloon reaches the point of blockage. The doctor inflates the balloon using pressurized water. This maneuver crushes fatty deposits so blood flow resumes freely.
Tuboplasty – Tuboplasty is a surgical procedure that opens up the fallopian tubes to allow for proper ovulation. The surgeon makes an incision and inserts the catheter. Inflating the balloon tip frees the adhesion to enable eggs to travel to the uterus. This procedure improves a woman’s chances of conception.