Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Angioplasty for peripheral arterial disease of the legs
Angioplasty is used to open narrowed arteries and increase
oxygen-rich blood flow to muscle and tissue. These images show angioplasty for the iliac artery. Angioplasty can also be done for the femoral, popliteal, and tibial arteries.
After you are sedated, the surgeon inserts a thin, flexible tube
called a catheter through a femoral artery in the thigh and carefully guides it
to the narrowed part of the iliac artery. A wire inside the catheter is used to guide tools, including a small balloon, into the artery.
The surgeon guides the catheter to the narrowed part of the artery
and inflates a small balloon at the end of a tube. The balloon may remain
inflated for a short time. If the doctor is going to place a stent in the artery, the balloon is inflated inside of the stent. The pressure from the inflated balloon
causes the stent to expand and press the plaque against the wall of the
artery, creating more room for blood to flow.
Next, the surgeon deflates the balloon and removes it, leaving the
expanded stent in place to keep the walls of the artery open.
Angioplasty can widen a narrowed part of an artery. This increases the flow of
oxygen-rich and nutrient-rich blood to the leg.
Current as ofSeptember 26, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffRakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, ElectrophysiologyAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineDavid A. Szalay, MD - Vascular Surgery
Current as of:
September 26, 2018
Medical Review:Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & David A. Szalay, MD - Vascular Surgery
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