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Everything You Need to Know About Peripheral Angioplasty

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Health Care

Peripheral Angioplasty artery disease, or PAD, is a condition characterized by decreased blood flow to parts of your body, such as your arms and legs. It is often caused by a buildup of plaque in your arteries, which makes the blood vessels too narrow to allow proper blood flow. If not treated by an expert like Dr. Daljit Muttiana, PAD can starve your tissues of healing cells, nutrients, and oxygen. This can cause tissue death (gangrene), arterial ulcers, and even amputation. Fortunately, a medical procedure called peripheral artery angioplasty can be used to improve PAD symptoms. Let’s take a closer look at it.

What Is Peripheral Angioplasty?

Peripheral artery angioplasty is a minimally invasive treatment used to address PAD by opening or widening blocked or narrowed arteries to improve blood flow. It can help relieve pain and improve wound healing by ensuring all your tissues receive sufficient blood.

Preparing for The Procedure

If your doctor determines that you need peripheral angioplasty, they will usually arrange a consultation to educate you about the procedure, its risks, benefits, and how to prepare. Your doctor will review your medical history, current medical conditions, and prescriptions. They may recommend you stop taking some medications several days before the procedure.

Other ways you need to prepare are to follow your doctor’s recommendations on eating and drinking, arrange for someone to drive you home, and wear something light to the hospital.

Procedure

You will likely be awake for your peripheral angioplasty but under local anesthesia. Once you settle onto the operation table or bed, your doctor will make a small incision on your leg or groin and insert a small catheter into an artery. The catheter, which also contains a dye, will move through your artery, producing X-ray images that your doctor will use to identify narrowed sections.

Your doctor will then remove the first catheter and insert a second one with a balloon at the tip into the affected artery. They will move the balloon to the narrowed part of your blood vessel and inflate it to push the plaque against your artery walls and increase the surface area of your artery.

Sometimes, your doctor will insert a stent into your artery to keep it open and prevent plaque pieces from breaking off and traveling through your bloodstream.

Post-Procedure Care

Typically, peripheral angioplasty patients spend the night in the hospital. You can have someone drive you home the following day and stay with you so you can take it easy for the next 48 hours. Doctors recommend that you not drive during this period or go to work if your job involves potentially dangerous activities like operating machinery. After the first two days, follow your doctor’s after-care recommendations, keep all your appointments, and call your doctor if you experience worrying symptoms.

Results of the Procedure

PAD symptoms like claudication should improve significantly after your procedure. Beyond this, however, you should work with your doctor to determine what caused the plaque buildup in the first place and address the underlying problem. You may need to:

  •       Maintain a healthy weight
  •       Exercise more
  •       Avoid high-cholesterol foods
  •       Quit smoking
  •       Take high cholesterol or high blood pressure drugs

When narrowed arteries in your legs, arms, or heart go untreated, they can cause life-threatening problems. An experienced physician like Daljit Muttiana, MD, FACC, FSCAI, can help prevent this by performing peripheral angioplasty. Contact his Tomball, Texas office today to learn more.

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