Peripheral artery disease, also known as peripheral arterial disease, is a problem with the circulatory system in which narrowed arteries decrease blood flow to the lower extremities. In someone with peripheral artery disease, the extremities – most commonly the legs – receive insufficient blood flow, much less than what’s needed to keep up with the body’s requirements. This results in symptoms such as pain in the leg when walking.
Peripheral angioplasty is a procedure that is relatively easy and minimally invasive. It is performed in a cardiovascular catheterization laboratory. Local anesthesia will be provided. An IV hooked up to the hand or arm will continually deliver medication that allows the procedure to be as free of discomfort as possible. Your doctor will insert a catheter into a blood vessel via the upper thigh or groin area.
High-resolution X-ray video and film equipment will allow your doctor to guide the catheter to the peripheral artery in need of treatment. . The doctor will thread a thin, narrow tube via a blood vessel in the groin or arm all the way to the artery in question. A very small balloon is attached to the end of the thin tube.
The doctor will inflate this tiny balloon once the tube is place, thus pushing the plaque outward and compressing it against the artery wall. By doing this, your artery widens and blood flow is restored. Angioplasties are relatively easy procedures and most patients return home the day after, and return to work within one week.
- Peripheral stenting
A stent is a small tube made of metal mesh that behaves like a scaffold to help support the interior of your coronary artery. Your doctor will use a balloon catheter put over a guide wire to insert the stent into the narrowed or blocked coronary artery. The balloon tip will be inflated once it is in place, and the stent will inflate to the artery’s size, holding it open. After deflating and removing the balloon, the stent permanently remains in place.
The artery will heal around the stent over the course of several weeks. Sometimes, stents will contain medicine and have been designed to reduce the risk of restenosis, which is the risk of reblockage.