What is it? Peripheral angioplasty is a procedure done to open narrowed or blocked peripheral arteries. The arteries leading to the kidneys and legs are the ones which most commonly require this type of intervention.
What happens during the procedure? An IV will be started to administer fluids and a medication to ensure your comfort and relaxation during the procedure. Your groin or arm will be shaved and cleansed and a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area where the catheter will be inserted. Using X-ray guidance, the catheter will be inserted through an artery in the groin or arm and advanced to the blocked artery. When a narrowing is found, a balloon tipped catheter is inserted into the blocked artery were it is inflated and deflated a number of times to compress the plaque against the arterial wall. If this is not effective, a mesh like wire cylinder known as a stent is permanently fixed at the location of the narrowing. This stent will provide structural support to the artery, opening it and restoring blood flow to the heart. Once the stent is in place and your physician can verify proper blood flow, the catheter is removed and pressure is applied to. The length of a peripheral vascular angioplasty depends on the number and severity of arterial blockages. A brief hospital stay will be required following your procedure.
Preparing for the Procedure:
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure. No caffeine products 12 hour prior to the procedure.
- Take your normal medications as instructed by your physician, and take your morning medications with a sip of water.
- Make sure your physician is aware if you are taking Coumadin or Plavix.
- If you take diabetic medications, ask your physician what dose you should take the day of the procedure.
- Following your procedure you will not be able to drive home and should make arrangements to be driven by a friend or family member. Additionally, you will have driving restrictions for several days after the procedure.