Angioplasty & Stenting for Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral angioplasty (same steps as in coronary angioplasty) is a procedure in which a thin, flexible tube called a catheter is inserted through an artery and guided to the place where the artery is narrowed.

When the tube reaches the narrowed artery, a small balloon at the end of the tube inflates for 20 seconds to 3 minutes. The pressure from the inflated balloon presses the fat and calcium (plaque) against the wall of the artery to improve blood flow.

After angioplasty a small expandable wire-mesh tube called a stent is usually put in place at the same time. Reclosure (restenosis) of the artery is less likely to occur if a stent is used.

What To Expect After Treatment

After the procedure, you will rest in bed for one to two hours, and you don’t have to stay overnight in the hospital. After you leave the hospital, you can most likely return to normal activities.

Why It Is Done

This procedure is commonly used to open narrowed arteries that supply blood flow to the legs muscles, or the kidneys.

What To Think About

Angioplasty may be a less expensive, safer alternative to surgery in majority of cases.

In general, angioplasty works best for people who have a small number of short, narrowed areas in the arteries of the leg or pelvis. People who have many areas of blockage or a long, continuous blockage may need bypass surgery.

Angioplasty are used more often in the blood vessels of the legs as procedures and techniques has become more advanced.