Angioplasty for Peripheral Arterial Disease of the Legs

Skip to the navigation
Iliac artery is narrowed by plaque
Peripheral arterial disease
slide 1 of 5
    

Angioplasty is used to open narrowed arteries and increase oxygen-rich blood flow to muscle and tissue.

Catheter is inserted
Angioplasty for peripheral arterial disease: Step 1
slide 2 of 5
    

After you are sedated, the surgeon inserts a thin, flexible tube called a catheter through a femoral artery in the thigh and carefully guides it to the narrowed part of the iliac artery.

Balloon is inflated, stent is expanded
Angioplasty for peripheral arterial disease: Step 2
slide 3 of 5
    

The surgeon guides the catheter to the narrowed part of the artery and inflates a small balloon at the end of a tube. The balloon may remain inflated for a short time. If the doctor is going to place a stent in the artery, the balloon is inflated inside of the stent. The pressure from the inflated balloon causes the stent to expand and press the plaque against the wall of the artery, creating more room for blood to flow.

Balloon is removed, stent is in place
Angioplasty for peripheral arterial disease: Step 3
slide 4 of 5
    

Next, the surgeon deflates the balloon and removes it, leaving the expanded stent in place to keep the walls of the artery open.

Before and after surgery
Angioplasty for peripheral arterial disease: Before and after
slide 5 of 5
    

Angioplasty can widen a narrowed part of an artery. This increases the flow of oxygen-rich and nutrient-rich blood to the leg.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Specialist Medical Reviewer David A. Szalay, MD - Vascular Surgery

Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

Current as of: November 14, 2014

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & David A. Szalay, MD - Vascular Surgery