Peripheral angioplasty is a procedure that helps open blockages in peripheral arteries. These vessels carry blood to your lower body and legs.
St. Joseph's Heart & Vascular Institute is a leader in interventional care. Our cardiologists use the latest digital technology and minimally invasive tools.
What To Expect During Peripheral Angioplasty
- Your doctor may give you medication through an IV (intravenous) line to relax you.
- After an injection numbs the site, your doctor will make a tiny skin incision near an artery in your groin.
- Your doctor inserts a catheter (thin tube) through the incision (insertion site), then threads it into an artery while viewing a video monitor.
- Contrast "dye" is injected into the catheter. X-rays are taken (angiography).
- Your doctor then pushes a tiny balloon through the catheter to the blockage, then inflates and deflates the balloon a few times to compress the plaque.
- A stent (small metal or mesh tube) may be placed to help keep your artery open.
- The balloon and catheter are then removed.
Recovering From Peripheral Angioplasty
- You will go home the same day as your procedure or spend the night at the hospital.
- After the procedure, you'll be taken to a recovery area.
- Pressure is applied to the insertion site for about 15 minutes.
- You will need to keep your leg still and straight for a few hours.
- You will be instructed what to do when you go home.
When you get home, call your doctor if:
- You notice a lump or bleeding at the site where the catheter was inserted
- You feel pain at the insertion site
- You become lightheaded or dizzy
- You have leg pain or numbness
Preparing For Peripheral Angioplasty
Some important steps to take in preparation for your peripheral angioplasty include:
- Tell your doctor about all medications you take and any allergies you may have
- Don't eat or drink after midnight the night before the procedure
- Arrange for a family member or friend to drive you home