Peripheral Vascular Angioplasty
What You Need to Know:
Peripheral vascular angioplasty is a procedure to open blocked or narrowed arteries in your legs. The procedure can help reduce symptoms of poor blood flow, such as pain, numbness and wounds that will not heal. The procedure may also prevent the need for an amputation of your leg or foot.
Preparing for Peripheral Vascular Angioplasty?
Your healthcare provider may order blood tests, an angiogram or an electrocardiogram (ECG) before your procedure. Talk to your healthcare provider about these or other tests you may need. You will need someone to drive you home and stay with you after your procedure.
Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for your procedure. You may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your procedure. You will be instructed as to what medicines to take or not take on the day of your procedure. You may need to stop taking blood thinners several days before your procedure. Ask your healthcare provider if you can continue taking aspirin.
You may be given an antibiotic through your IV to help prevent a bacterial infection. Contrast liquid may be used during your procedure. Tell a healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to antibiotics or contrast liquid.
You may be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during your procedure. You may instead be given IV sedation to make you feel calm and relaxed during the procedure. You may also be given local anesthesia to numb the area. With local anesthesia, you may still feel pressure or pushing, but you should not feel any pain.
Your healthcare provider will insert a catheter and wire into a blood vessel in your arm, wrist or groin. A wire will move through the catheter and up into your blocked artery. Your healthcare provider may inject contrast liquid so your artery can be seen more clearly on the x-ray. You may feel warm when the contrast liquid is injected. Your provider may use a balloon to help open your artery. Oxygen and pressures in different parts of your arteries will be measured. A stent may be inserted through the catheter and into your artery. The stent helps hold the artery open so blood can flow through easier.
Your healthcare provider will remove the catheter and wire. Clamps, stitches or other devices may be used to close the wound. Pressure will be applied to the wound for several minutes to stop any bleeding. A pressure bandage or other pressure device may be placed over the wound to help prevent more bleeding. .
After Your Procedure
You will be attached to a heart monitor until you are fully awake. A heart monitor is an EKG that stays on continuously to record your heart’s electrical activity. Healthcare providers will monitor your vital signs and pulses in your arm or leg. They will frequently check your pressure bandage for bleeding or swelling.
You will need to lie flat with your leg or arm straight for two to four hours. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. Arm or leg movements can cause serious bleeding. You may be able to go home or you may need to spend a night in the hospital.
Risks associated with angioplasty and stenting for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease include:
- Damage to the treated blood vessel
- Complete closure of the blood vessel
Minimally invasive angioplasty and stenting for peripheral vascular disease offer patients numerous benefits, including:
- Smaller incisions
- Faster recovery time
- Lower risk of complications
- The use of a sedative instead of general anesthesia, so patients can go home the same day
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