Am I a Candidate for Angioplasty?
Why would you need Angioplasty?
Arteries are the blood vessels that transport freshly oxygenated blood away from your heart. Coronary arteries supply your heart muscle, while the peripheral arteries carry blood to your legs, kidneys, and other vital organs. Unfortunately, all are susceptible to disease and damage that restricts blood flow. Health complications related to poor arterial blood flow include:
- Heart attack
- Chronic swelling in the legs and feet
- Chronic nonhealing wounds
- Limb amputation
- Chronic kidney disease
- Cramping pain (claudication) in the lower extremities
Angioplasty is a minimally invasive, typically outpatient procedure that effectively clears plaque (cholesterol buildup) and restores blood flow through the targeted artery.
Who is a good candidate for Angioplasty?
The team at Frontier Medical Care focuses on diseases affecting the peripheral arteries. Based on a physical exam and vascular evaluation, Dr. Marzouk typically starts with conservative measures such as improved diet, routine exercise, or cholesterol-lowering medications to reduce your risk of plaque formation and other issues restricting blood flow.
However, if your disease progresses despite these therapies or is significant at your evaluation, Dr. Marzouk may recommend angioplasty. This procedure effectively widens narrowed arteries and relieves symptoms caused by renal artery disease, PAD, or carotid artery disease.
What happens during Angioplasty?
Dr. Marzouk discusses angioplasty in detail before scheduling your procedure, including what to expect before, during, and afterward. Generally, however, angioplasty is performed under intravenous (IV) sedation, meaning you’re relaxed but conscious during the procedure.
First, Dr. Marzouk accesses an artery via a large-bore needle puncture through which he inserts a thin, hollow tube (catheter). Using advanced X-ray imaging, he guides the catheter to the blockage and threads a small medical balloon through the catheter, inflating it at the plaque site. This action widens the artery and restores healthy blood flow.
Depending on the size of the blockage and condition of the artery, Dr. Marzouk may also place a small mesh tube (stent) at the site to reinforce the walls of the targeted vessel. The stent remains in place to ensure the artery remains open.
Dr. Marzouk then removes the catheter and applies a compression bandage to the puncture site to prevent bleeding. You may experience mild bruising or discomfort at the puncture site for a few days afterward, but angioplasty is otherwise painless.