Peripheral Angioplasty with stent placement is a minimally invasive procedure used to open narrow or blocked arteries. This procedure is used in different parts of your body, depending on the location of the affected artery. It requires only a small incision.
Angioplasty is a medical procedure in which your vascular surgeon uses a tiny balloon to widen an artery. A stent is a tiny mesh tube that’s inserted into your artery and left there to prevent it from closing. Your doctor may recommend taking aspirin or antiplatelet drugs, such as clopidogrel (Plavix), to prevent clotting around the stent, or they may prescribe medications to help lower your cholesterol.
When your cholesterol levels are high, a fatty substance known as plaque can attach to the walls of your arteries. This is called atherosclerosis. As plaque accumulates on the inside of your arteries, your arteries can narrow. This reduces the space available for blood to flow.
Angioplasty and stent placement are treatment options for peripheral artery disease (PAD). This common condition involves the narrowing of arteries in your limbs.
If medication and other treatments don’t help your PAD, your doctor may opt for angioplasty and stent placement. It’s also used as an emergency procedure if you’re having a heart attack or stroke.
Any surgical procedure carries risks. The risks associated with angioplasty and stents include:
The risks associated with angioplasty are small, but they can be serious. Your doctor will help you evaluate the benefits and risks of the procedure. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe anticlotting medications, such as aspirin, for up to a year after your procedure.
While angioplasty with stent placement addresses an individual blockage, it doesn’t fix the underlying cause of the blockage. To prevent further blockages and reduce your risk of other medical conditions, you may have to make certain lifestyle changes, such as:
Your doctor may also recommend the long-term use of anticlotting drugs, such as aspirin, after your procedure. Don’t stop taking these medications without talking to doctor first.