Angioplasty is an alternative to open bypass operations used to clear blockages in peripheral and carotid arteries. Plaque build-up restricts the flow of blood through narrow openings. During angioplasty surgery, your physician will inject a dye into your arteries to identify the location and severity of the blockage. Once identified, a tiny guide wire is inserted in an artery chosen by your surgeon – usually in the groin area. A balloon catheter follows the guide wire to the location of the blockage. The balloon catheter is then expanded several times pushing plaque against the artery wall and restoring blood flow. A metal stent, that looks like a tubular cage is often used in conjunction with angioplasty surgery. The stent presses against the plaque as well providing for a sturdier wall through which blood can flow. Your body will grow tissue around the stent and it will remain in place without slippage.
Advantages of minimally invasive peripheral and carotid angioplasty and stent
- Patients are given local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia which reduces risk
- Smaller incisions result in less discomfort and quicker recovery time
- Nerve injury, bruising and wound infection risks are greatly reduced.
- Tiny precise instruments increase the ability to treat narrowed arteries that are difficult to treat with traditional surgery or hard to reach.