Angioplasty & Vascular Stenting at Sky Ridge Medical Center

Angioplasty with or without vascular stenting is a minimally invasive procedure performed to improve blood flow in the body's arteries and veins.

In an angioplasty procedure, imaging techniques are used to guide a balloon-tipped catheter, a long, thin plastic tube, into an artery or vein and advance it to where the vessel is narrow or blocked. The balloon is then inflated to open the vessel, deflated and removed.

During angioplasty, a small wire mesh tube called a stent may be permanently placed in the newly opened artery or vein to help it remain open. There are two types of stents: bare stents (wire mesh) and covered stents (also commonly called stent grafts).

Common Uses of Angioplasty & Vascular Stenting

Angioplasty with or without vascular stenting is commonly used to treat conditions that involve a narrowing or blockage of arteries or veins throughout the body, including:

  • Narrowing of large arteries (aorta and its branches) due to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), a gradual process in which cholesterol and other fatty deposits, called plaques, build up on the artery walls.
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD), a narrowing of the arteries in the legs or arms. In patients with PAD, angioplasty alone or angioplasty with stenting may be used to open up a blocked artery in the pelvis, leg or arm.
  • Renal vascular hypertension, high blood pressure caused by a narrowing of the kidney arteries. Angioplasty with stenting is a commonly used method to open one or both of the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys. Treating renal arterial narrowing is also performed in some patients to protect or improve the kidney function.
  • Carotid artery disease, a narrowing of the neck arteries supplying blood to the brain.
  • Venous narrowings involving the central veins (in the chest or the pelvis). In some cases, stenting of the narrowed vein is also needed.
  • Narrowing in dialysis fistula or grafts. When there is decreased flow in the graft or fistula so that is not adequate for dialysis, angioplasty is generally the first line of treatment.Stenting also may be needed in some cases.