Peripheral Angioplasty For Blocked or  Narrowed  Loweer Limb  Arteties

 What is Peripheral Angioplasty?

Peripheral Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure performed to open up the blocked or narrowed peripheral arteries. Peripheral Artery Disease is a condition where the lower extremities of the body are deprived of sufficient blood supply to keep up with the demand. This causes severe pain while walking (claudication). Peripheral Angioplasty helps to improve the blood flow to your limbs.



When is Peripheral Angioplasty performed?

Peripheral Angioplasty is performed to treat Peripheral Vascular Disease (the circulatory disorder caused due to the narrowing of blood vessels outside the heart). The incidence of Peripheral Vascular Disease is increased twofold/fourfold is one of the most common complications by Diabetes. The Diabetic Foot Ulcer, the most common complication of Diabetes, is complicated by Peripheral Vascular Disease, as it slows down the wound healing process due to decreased blood supply.

When is Peripheral Angioplasty performed?

What are the different methods of performing Peripheral Angioplasty?

Peripheral Angioplasty can be performed using the following three methods:

Stent Angioplasty: A stent (a small, expandable, mesh-like tube) is used for widening the arteries. It is performed in the following manner:

  • A Local Anesthesia is administered.
  • An incision is made into the hip or groin region, as this is a minimally invasive surgery.
  • A long thin tube called a catheter is inserted, through the incision, and this is directed to the blocked arteries, guided by an X-ray monitor.
  • Contrast dye is injected into the blood vessels, which shows up the narrowed artery on the X-ray monitor.
  • A catheter, with a balloon attached to it, is guided to the clogged artery site. Later, the balloon is inflated and a stent is placed.

Balloon Angioplasty: Balloon Angioplasty involves widening the arteries by using a balloon. It is performed in the following manner:

  • Local Anesthesia is administered to the patient.
  • An incision is made in the hip or the groin region.
  • A dye is injected into the blood stream which facilitates the monitoring of the blood vessels through the X-ray monitor.
  • A device with a small balloon is inserted into the artery.
  • The balloon is inflated, which flattens the plaque and widens the artery. balloon is inflated and a stent is placed.


Drug-coated Balloon/Stent Angioplasty:

Occasionally, medicine-coated stents/ balloons might be used to release the drug into the arteries, which helps to prevent clogging of the arteries. The procedure for performing drug-coated Balloon/Stent Angioplasty is the same as normal Balloon/Stent Angioplasty.


Before the procedure

  • Inform your doctor if you are using any medications, vitamin or mineral supplements.
  • Tell your doctor if you are suffering from symptoms of cold, flu or any pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disorders, etc.
  • Do not eat at least 8 hours before the surgery.
  • Take the medicines as prescribed by your doctor.


After the procedure

  • It is advised to remain still for at least 3-6 hours after the surgery, to prevent bleeding from the incision site.
  • The patient is generally discharged 24 hours after the surgery.
  • Avoid lifting weights or performing strenuous activities for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to help flush out the contrast dye from the body.


Long-term plan

Long-term management of Peripheral Angioplasty requires the regular use of medicines, followed by making certain lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Balancing comorbid conditions, such as Diabetes and High Blood Pressure
  • Lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Maintaining optimum body weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Exercising regularly


Chances of recurrence

The recurrence of Peripheral Artery Disease and Peripheral Angioplasty can be prevented by regular use of the prescribed medicines, and strictly following the recommended lifestyle changes.


Diet and exercise plan

Follow a low-salt and low-fat diet, which helps in better management of Peripheral Artery Disease and prevents fluid retention in the body. Exercising daily lowers the risk of clot formation and promotes good health.


Importance of medicines

Anticlotting medications will help to prevent further re-narrowing associated with Peripheral Angioplasty. Use of medications for at last one year prevents the risk of re-narrowing.


Seeking medical attention

Warning signs that need immediate medical attention:

  • Swelling in limbs
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever and chills (over 101oF)
  • Weakness and dizziness