Angioplasty and Stenting
What is angioplasty and stenting?
Interventional radiologists use this minimally invasive outpatient procedure to treat conditions in which blood vessels are narrowed or blocked. After the patient receives a local anesthetic, the interventional radiologist makes a small nick in the skin. Next, a small balloon attached to a catheter is inserted into the blood vessel. The specialist uses fluoroscopy (X-ray guidance projected on a monitor) to thread the catheter to the site of the blockage, inflates the balloon to open the artery, and then removes the catheter. In most cases, the interventional radiologist inserts a stent (a tiny, slender, expandable metal-mesh tube) into the blood vessel to keep it open. The procedure typically lasts between 45 minutes and three hours.
When is angioplasty and stenting indicated?
The interventional radiologist will typically perform one of three pretreatment tests to determine a patient’s level of atherosclerosis and assess the need for angioplasty and stenting.
What conditions are treated using this procedure?
When atherosclerosis is advanced or does not respond to medication, angioplasty and stenting might be utilized in the treatment of a number of conditions, including: