Peripheral Angioplasty

Periphery Angioplasty is the treatment for Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) in which arteries that have fat accumulated in them are widened. It helps to reduce the obstruction to blood flow in the narrowed or blocked peripheral arteries by using minimally invasive surgical procedures. Angioplasty and stent replacement can restore the thickness of the blood vessel and hence can prevent the necessity of an amputation or a heart attack. 

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The signs / symptoms of Peripheral Vascular disease that indicate the requirement of an Angioplasty include - 

  • Pain while walking
  • Painful muscle cramps 
  • Weakness
  • Numbness in legs
  • Loss of hair on legs and feet
  • Legs become pale or blue 
  • Sores that don’t heal 
  • Erectile dysfunction in men

The most standard diagnosis of Peripheral Artery Disease is Ankle-Brachial index (ABI) in which the blood pressure of the ankle is compared with that of the arm. Other ways of diagnosis are Ultrasounds which uses sound waves to form images and Angiography in which a contrasting color dye is used to examine the blood flow through the arteries.

Angioplasty is the procedure in which a catheter- a small tube- is inserted in the blocked/narrowed blood vessel and the balloon attached to it is inflated. The balloon applies pressure on the walls of the artery, on the fat and plaque deposited in order to widen it. Stents are also used at many times to make the angioplasty more effective. Stent is mesh gauze which helps to keep the blood vessel open.

There are several complications that could occur during the procedure of Angioplasty. There may be swelling or bleeding at the site of insertion of the catheter. Although rare, in some cases blood clots may form in the blood vessels and may result in a heart attack. Post-surgery there may be irregular heart beat due to the blood vessel getting damaged. Patients who are already suffering with kidney problems may be prone to some kidney damage. In case of some procedural problems, there also may be infections at the site of catheter insertion. Restenosis may occur in which the artery that has been widened by angioplasty becomes narrow again.

After an Angioplasty, it is necessary to walk for short distances regularly. It is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle after the procedure, in order to avoid Restenosis and the narrowing of other such arteries. This requires quitting to smoke, having a balanced diet and exercising regularly.

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Peripheral Angioplasty

Periphery Angioplasty is the treatment for Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) in which arteries that have fat accumulated in them are widened. It helps to reduce the obstruction to blood flow in the narrowed or blocked peripheral arteries by using minimally invasive surgical procedures. Angioplasty and stent replacement can restore the thickness of the blood vessel and hence can prevent the necessity of an amputation or a heart attack. 

Symptoms

The signs / symptoms of Peripheral Vascular disease that indicate the requirement of an Angioplasty include - 

  • Pain while walking
  • Painful muscle cramps 
  • Weakness
  • Numbness in legs
  • Loss of hair on legs and feet
  • Legs become pale or blue 
  • Sores that don’t heal 
  • Erectile dysfunction in men

Diagnosis

The most standard diagnosis of Peripheral Artery Disease is Ankle-Brachial index (ABI) in which the blood pressure of the ankle is compared with that of the arm. Other ways of diagnosis are Ultrasounds which uses sound waves to form images and Angiography in which a contrasting color dye is used to examine the blood flow through the arteries.

Treatment

Angioplasty is the procedure in which a catheter- a small tube- is inserted in the blocked/narrowed blood vessel and the balloon attached to it is inflated. The balloon applies pressure on the walls of the artery, on the fat and plaque deposited in order to widen it. Stents are also used at many times to make the angioplasty more effective. Stent is mesh gauze which helps to keep the blood vessel open.

Risks

There are several complications that could occur during the procedure of Angioplasty. There may be swelling or bleeding at the site of insertion of the catheter. Although rare, in some cases blood clots may form in the blood vessels and may result in a heart attack. Post-surgery there may be irregular heart beat due to the blood vessel getting damaged. Patients who are already suffering with kidney problems may be prone to some kidney damage. In case of some procedural problems, there also may be infections at the site of catheter insertion. Restenosis may occur in which the artery that has been widened by angioplasty becomes narrow again.

After Procedure

After an Angioplasty, it is necessary to walk for short distances regularly. It is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle after the procedure, in order to avoid Restenosis and the narrowing of other such arteries. This requires quitting to smoke, having a balanced diet and exercising regularly.

FAQ Section

1) What is Peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease is a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to the head, organs, and limbs. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, fibrous tissue,  calcium,  and other substances in the blood.

 

2) What are some symptoms of peripheral artery disease?

  • Cramping or tiredness in leg muscles while not resting.
  • Pain in the legs or feet that disturbs night sleep
  • Loss of sensation or numbness in the affected limb
  • Sores that fail to heal or heal slowly
  • Differences in blood pressure between the limbs
  • Decreased rate of hair and nail growth
  • Foot pain at rest

3) What causes Peripheral artery disease?

Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque or fatty deposits build up in the patient's arteries and it is often called hardening of the arteries and causes Peripheral Artery Disease. Also with age, various factors cause the vein walls to become rigid and thin that contributes to PAD, they include:

Diabetes:

  • High cholesterol or triglycerides
  • High levels of homocysteine
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Over 50-year-old and male
  • Personal history of hypertension
  • Smoking
  • The family history of vascular diseases
  • Weighing over thirty percent more than your ideal weight.

 

4) How is Peripheral artery disease diagnosed?

If Peripheral artery disease diagnosed is suspected, a non-invasive test referred to as an ankle brachial pressure index is performed. The ankle brachial pressure measures the difference between the systolic blood pressure in the patient's arms and the systolic pressure in the ankles. Based on the result of ABP, an ultrasound may be ordered to determine the extent of the blockage. Angiography or a Computed Tomography Angiography Scan may also be used to more precisely define the exact location of the blockage.

5) What is peripheral angioplasty?

Peripheral angioplasty is a procedure performed to reopen blood vessels to allow oxygen-rich blood to flow smoothly through the vessel, and in several cases, once the blood vessel has been widened, the physician inserts a stent which is a tiny mesh-like wire tube which acts as scaffolding to hold the artery open.

6) How dangerous is angioplasty?

Although angioplasty is a less invasive way to fix clogged arteries than bypass surgery is, the procedure still bears several risks. The most common angioplasty risks include Re-clogging of the artery. 

7) What are the risks of angioplasty?

  • Pain, tenderness, and swelling at the catheter insertion site.
  • Superficial thrombophlebitis.
  • Bleeding at the catheter site.
  • A bruise where the catheter was inserted.
  • Serious risks are:
  • Damage to the inner wall of the artery.
  • An allergic reaction
  • The sudden closure of the artery.
  • Blood clots.
  • Kidney damage.

8) What is the success rate of angioplasty?

Angioplasty is successful in opening peripheral arteries in well over 90% of patients.

9) Can stents be put in legs?

Angioplasty is a procedure performed to open blocked or narrow blood vessels that supply blood to our legs. Fatty deposits can build up inside the arteries. A stent is a small, metal mesh tube and can be put in the legs. 

10) Things to do after angioplasty?

Angioplasty does not cure the cause of the blockage in the patient's arteries, and the arteries may become narrow again. The patient must eat a heart-healthy diet, exercise, stop smoking (if he or she smokes), and reduce stress to help lower the chances of having a blocked artery again.

11) How long do leg stents last?

Physicians have found that 50 percent of those arteries in which the stents are used to clear leg-artery blockages will be blocked again in about two years.

12) What can one do to prevent peripheral arterial disease?

To prevent peripheral arterial diseases:

  • Don't smoke.
  • If you have diabetes, follow all diet and medication instructions and see your health care provider regularly.
  • Lower your blood pressure.
  • Eat foods low in fat and cholesterol.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Try to reduce stress in your life.