Recently more arterial diseases have been treated with endovascular procedures. After confirming the diagnosis with non-invasive studies such as CT-scan and MRI, your doctor might recommend an endovascular procedure to treat your arterial disease.
Angioplasty is a procedure in which balloons, stents, and other techniques treat narrowings and blockages within an artery.
Different methods are used depending on the artery, the anatomy, the degree and length of the narrowing, and the patient’s general conditions. Your doctor will discuss with you the best procedure in your case.
Larger arteries are usually treated with stents. Stents are made from specific high-tech metals placed inside the narrowing within the artery. The stents usually are not removed.
Smaller arteries as the arteries below the knee, are treated with balloons only. The newer generation of balloons are coated with drugs to help keep the vessel open for a more extended period; they are commonly known as smart balloons. In addition, those balloons require strong blood thinners to support their action.
Angioplasty procedure is performed under local anesthesia as a day-case without needing an overnight stay in the hospital. However, after the procedure, you might be required to stay flat for a few hours to prevent bleeding from the access site. You can remove the dressings if applied in 24 hours and resume regular daily activity.