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Q: What is a balloon catheter?

A: Medical balloons are devices generally placed near the distal tip of a catheter that are inflated in order to occlude a vein during a surgical procedure. They are common in the placement and delivery of stents, the repair of occluded veins and pressure monitoring situations. The balloon is attached (bonded) to a catheter and inserted into the body uninflated until it reaches the delivery point at which time it is inflated and the procedure is completed. Once complete, the balloon is deflated and the catheter is removed. There is a very wide range of balloons shapes, sizes, and manufacturing techniques. Like braided tubing, balloon tubing must be designed to withstand the pressurized expansion without rupturing or deforming.

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