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Peripheral Angioplasty


Peripheral angioplasty is a procedure that helps open blockages in peripheral arteries. These vessels carry blood to your lower body and legs.

Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute of Greater Sacramento 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