When the arteries carrying blood to your legs, arms, abdomen, or brain become blocked, the highly-experienced team at Vascular Specialists may recommend peripheral artery angioplasty treatment. This minimally invasive procedure effectively clears the blockage and restores blood flow, relieving your symptoms, and preventing complications such as a stroke. If you have questions about peripheral artery angioplasty, call one of the offices in Tinley Park or Evergreen Park, Illinois, or book an appointment online.
An angioplasty is a minimally-invasive endovascular procedure. Minimally-invasive refers to the fact that Vascular Specialists make a micro incision to accommodate a narrow catheter.
An endovascular procedure means that your artery is repaired from inside the blood vessel using the catheter.
When an angioplasty is performed on the arteries in your legs, arms, neck, or abdomen, it’s called a peripheral artery angioplasty.
Angioplasty restores blood flow by opening an artery that’s clogged due to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis develops when fats, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances collect on a damaged area of an artery wall.
When caught at an early stage, Vascular Specialists initially treat atherosclerosis with medical management and lifestyle changes.
Over time, however, the plaque continues to enlarge and harden, gradually narrowing the artery and restricting blood flow.
Without treatment, the blood supply becomes so limited that you experience pain and other symptoms as tissues are deprived of oxygen and nutrients.
Serious complications occur when the artery is completely blocked. You may develop tissue death and gangrene in your leg and foot or experience a stroke if the carotid artery is blocked.
Another complication occurs when the plaque ruptures, sending pieces into your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism.
The Vascular Specialists team gives you a local anesthetic, then makes a micro incision in the blood vessel where a balloon catheter is inserted. Using real-time X-ray imaging called fluoroscopy, your Vascular Specialists provider can see your blood vessels and guide the catheter to the site of the blockage.
After positioning the catheter, your provider inflates a balloon, which pushes the plaque against the artery wall. In some cases, they also insert a mesh stent that expands and stays in the artery, helping to ensure that the blood vessel stays open.
After removing the catheter, the Vascular Specialists team applies pressure to stop any bleeding. They may place a closure device over the tiny incision, then they cover the site with a dressing, and your angioplasty is finished.
You will need to avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and prolonged walking or sitting for the time recommended by your Vascular Specialists provider. You may also need to take aspirin or blood thinners to prevent blood clots.
If you have questions about peripheral artery angioplasty or you need to schedule an appointment, call Vascular Specialists or use the online booking feature.