Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a common condition affecting millions worldwide. It is characterized by the narrowing or blockage of arteries outside of the heart, most commonly in the legs. This narrowing or blockage restricts blood flow to the affected areas, leading to symptoms such as leg pain, cramping, and difficulty walking. While various treatment options are available for PAD, one effective intervention is angioplasty. In this article, we will explore the role of angioplasty in restoring blood flow in peripheral arterial disease and how Coastal Vascular Center can help. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call Coastal Vascular Center for more information.
Understanding Peripheral Arterial Disease
Before delving into angioplasty, it is important to have a basic understanding of peripheral arterial disease. PAD is primarily caused by atherosclerosis, a condition where plaque builds up inside the arteries, leading to narrowing and blockage. This buildup of plaque is often the result of lifestyle factors such as smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise, and underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
As the arteries become progressively narrowed, blood flow to the legs is compromised, resulting in leg pain and other symptoms. If left untreated, PAD can progress to a more severe stage, where the lack of blood flow can lead to non-healing wounds or even amputation.
What is Angioplasty?
Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure commonly used to treat peripheral arterial disease. It involves using a catheter, a thin, flexible tube, to access the blocked or narrowed artery. The catheter is guided to the affected area during the procedure using imaging techniques such as X-rays or ultrasound. Once in position, a small balloon attached to the catheter is inflated, which pushes the plaque against the artery walls, widening the artery and restoring blood flow.
In some cases, a stent may also be placed during angioplasty. A stent is a small, mesh-like device inserted into the artery to help keep it open. The stent acts as a scaffold, supporting the artery walls and preventing them from collapsing or narrowing again. Thus, helping in restoring blood flow.
Angioplasty is typically performed on an outpatient basis, meaning patients can usually go home the same day. Before the procedure, patients are given a local anesthetic to numb the area where the catheter will be inserted. Sometimes, sedation may also be used to ensure the patient’s comfort.
Once the procedure begins, a small incision is made in the groin or arm to access the artery. The catheter is then carefully threaded through the artery to the site of the blockage or narrowing. Imaging techniques are used throughout the procedure to guide the catheter and ensure proper placement.
Once the balloon is inflated and the artery is widened, the balloon is deflated and removed. In some cases, a stent may be placed to support the artery. Once the procedure is complete, the incision site is closed, and the patient is taken to a recovery area to be monitored.
Benefits and Risks of Angioplasty
Angioplasty offers several benefits for individuals with peripheral arterial disease. It can effectively improve blood flow to the affected area, relieving leg pain and cramping symptoms. Additionally, angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure, meaning that there are fewer risks and complications compared to open surgical procedures.
However, it is important to note that, like any medical procedure, angioplasty does carry some risks. These risks may include bleeding at the incision site, damage to the blood vessel during the procedure, the formation of blood clots, or infection. It is crucial for patients to discuss the potential risks and benefits of angioplasty with their healthcare provider to make an informed decision.
Coastal Vascular Center: Your Partner in PAD Treatment
If you are experiencing peripheral arterial disease symptoms, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. At Coastal Vascular Center, our team is dedicated to providing comprehensive care for individuals with PAD. We offer state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, including ultrasound imaging and angiography, to accurately diagnose the condition and formulate a personalized treatment plan.
Restore Your Blood Flow
At Coastal Vascular Center, we specialize in minimally invasive procedures, such as angioplasty, to treat peripheral arterial disease. Our experienced physicians receive training in the latest techniques. We use cutting-edge technology to deliver effective and long-lasting results.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about angioplasty or other treatment options for peripheral arterial disease, please call Coastal Vascular Center. Our friendly staff is ready to help you and schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.
Take the first step towards restoring healthy blood flow and improving your quality of life by reaching out to Coastal Vascular Center today.