Angioplasty and Stenting
Angioplasty and vascular stenting are commonly used to treat conditions that result when arteries throughout the body become narrowed or blocked, including:
- Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) / peripheral artery disease (PAD) (narrowing of the arteries in the legs or arms).
- Renal vascular hypertension (high blood pressure caused by narrowing of the kidney arteries).
- Hemodialysis access maintenance.
- Carotid artery disease (narrowing of the neck arteries supplying blood to the brain).
- Coronary artery disease (narrowing of the heart arteries).
Angioplasty, also called balloon angioplasty, and vascular stenting are minimally invasive procedures performed by an interventional radiologist to improve blood flow in the body's arteries.
In the angioplasty procedure, the doctor threads a balloon-tipped catheter - a thin, plastic tube - to the site of a narrow or blocked artery and then inflates the balloon to open the vessel. The balloon is then deflated and removed from the artery.
Vascular stenting, which is often performed at the same time as an angioplasty, involves the placement of a small wire mesh tube called a stent in the newly opened artery. This may be necessary after some angioplasty procedures if the artery is very narrowed or completely blocked. The stent is a permanent device that is left in the artery and may be needed to help the artery heal in an open position after the angioplasty.