Angioplasty and Stenting
If you’ve been told you have restricted blood flow in a specific vein or artery in the body, your doctor may recommend angioplasty, with or without stenting. This minimally invasive procedure, to put it bluntly, can be a real lifesaver.
Why It May Be Recommended
Angioplasty and stenting are used to open blood vessels that have become too narrow to allow a sufficient amount of blood to pass through. Both procedures can be performed on blood vessels located throughout the body. Best of all, it can be done on a same-day, outpatient basis right here in one of the surgery suites at a Florida Endovascular and Interventional office in South Florida.
Angioplasty, with or without stenting, is used to treat a variety of conditions that involve narrowing of the blood vessels, such as:
- Peripheral artery disease – a narrowing of the arteries in the legs or arms
- Coronary artery disease – narrowing of arteries that carry blood to the heart
- Carotid stenosis – narrowing of the two arteries in the neck that carry blood to the brain
- Renovascular hypertension – high blood pressure caused by narrowing of the arteries that carry blood to the kidneys
- Dialysis fistula/graft blockages – clogged passageways in the arm created to accommodate dialysis for patients with kidney disease
Both angioplasty and stenting are safe and effective, with a low risk of complications. If you or a loved one has vascular disease, angioplasty and stenting can relieve symptoms, reduce the risk of any immediate life-threatening complications, and improve your overall quality of life.
What Happens During an Angioplasty and Stenting
During an angioplasty, a balloon-tipped catheter with a tiny camera is threaded into a blood vessel and guided to the problem area using real-time video imaging. Once positioned inside the narrowed blood vessel at the site of the blockage, the balloon is inflated. This effectively opens the vessel and allows blood to flow more freely. A stent (small mesh tube) is left inside the vessel to keep it propped open. The balloon is then deflated and removed – all via the catheter, so no surgical incisions are needed to carry out the procedures.
What to Expect Before, During, & After Your Procedure
If you have been diagnosed with a vascular disease, your doctor may recommend angioplasty and stenting as a treatment option. This procedure can be done on an outpatient basis, which means you can go home the same day. The recovery time is typically short, and most people can return to their normal activities within a few days.
You may be advised to stop taking certain medications (such as aspirin, blood thinners, and/or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories) for a brief period prior to your procedure. You may also be asked not to have any food or liquids for several hours before your arrival time. You will need to arrange a ride to and from your appointment. Because X-ray technology is used as a visual guide during an angioplasty and stenting, be sure to inform your doctor if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
You will be given an IV sedative and your vital signs monitored throughout the procedure. The area where the catheter enters your body will be sterilized and draped. After making a tiny incision in the skin, a tiny flexible tube (catheter) will be inserted into a blood vessel and guided to the right spot using real-time X-ray video imaging. A contrast dye may be injected into the appropriate blood vessel to help identify the precise location of the blockage so it can be effectively treated. During the procedure, the balloon may need to be inflated a few times if multiple vessels require treatment. X-ray imaging will be used to confirm improved blood flow through the artery or vein after the angioplasty and stenting are completed.
You will be monitored for a short period of time after the procedure. You will be asked to rest and avoid strenuous activity for at least 24 hours. The site where the catheter entered your body may be sore, but this typically resolves quickly. You may be prescribed blood thinners to help prevent blood clots now that the vascular passageway is open. Be sure to follow your doctor’s orders regarding any activity or work restrictions after an angioplasty and stenting.
Angioplasty & Stenting Vascular Treatment in South Florida
The vascular experts at Florida Endovascular and Interventional know a thing or two about using angioplasty and stenting (and more) to treat a wide array of vascular conditions. When it comes to your health, make sure you’re being treated by the very best in the field.
Contact the interventional radiologists at Florida Endovascular and Interventional by calling (786) 534-2555 now – or use our online form to request an appointment. We look forward to seeing you at one of our four convenient South Florida locations in Miami Lakes, Plantation, Coconut Creek, and Aventura.