Peripheral angioplasty is a procedure that helps open blockages in peripheral arteries. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common circulatory problem, it is caused by narrowed arteries, which can reduce blood flow to your extremities—usually the legs. Often, PAD can be treated by smoking cessation, exercising and adhering to healthy diet.
Before Your Peripheral Angioplasty
- Tell your doctor about all medications you take and any allergies you may have.
- Don’t eat or drink after midnight the night before the procedure.
- Arrange for an adult family member or friend to drive you home.
During Your Peripheral Angioplasty
- You may get medication through an intravenous (IV) line to relax you. After an injection numbs the site, a tiny skin incision is made near an artery in your groin.
- Your doctor inserts a catheter (thin tube) through the incision (insertion site), then threads it into an artery while viewing a video monitor.
- Contrast “dye” is injected into the catheter. X-rays are taken (angiography).
- A tiny balloon is pushed through the catheter to the blockage. Your doctor inflates and deflates the balloon a few times to compress the plaque.
- A stent (small metal or mesh tube) may be placed to help keep your artery open. The balloon and catheter are then removed.
After Your Peripheral Angioplasty
You’ll be taken to a recovery area. Pressure is applied to the insertion site for about 15 minutes. You will need to keep your leg still and straight for a few hours. You will go home that day or spend the night at Gwinnett Medical Center. You will be instructed on what to do when you go home.