What Is Angioplasty?
Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to open up blocked or narrowed arteries. A small balloon is inserted into the artery and inflated, which widens the artery and restores blood flow. Angioplasty is often used to treat peripheral artery disease (PAD), a condition in which plaque buildup narrows the arteries and reduces blood flow.
How Is Angioplasty Performed?
Angioplasty is typically performed using a local anesthetic, though general anesthesia may be used in some cases. A small incision is made in the groin area and a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) is inserted.
The catheter is then threaded through the arteries to the blocked or narrowed section. Once in place, a small balloon at the tip of the catheter is inflated, which widens the artery and restores blood flow. In some cases, a stent (a metal mesh tube) may also be placed to keep the artery open.
What Are the Benefits of Angioplasty?
Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure with a low risk of complications. It can be performed on an outpatient basis and usually only requires a few days of recovery time. Angioplasty can relieve symptoms such as pain, cramping, and fatigue, and can improve quality of life.
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