Like the arteries carrying blood to your heart and brain, the vessels that supply blood to your arms and legs (peripheral arteries) can become clogged with fatty deposits on the inner walls (plaque).
Balloon angioplasty, atherectomy and stenting are minimally invasive procedures that may be used to open narrowed arteries and restore adequate blood flow to the areas affected by PAD.
Ali Golshan, MD, is a top-rated vein specialist and vascular surgeon with a busy practice in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles, California — Beach Wellness MD. Dr. Golshan is well-known for his expertise in treating peripheral artery disease (PAD). He’s happy to provide information about how balloon angioplasty, atherectomy and stenting are used to treat PAD.
Understanding peripheral artery disease
PAD affects the arteries outside of your heart and head. Most common in the arteries supplying blood to the legs, PAD can also cause problems in the arms and abdomen. Symptoms are typically gradual in onset and increase as the blockage worsens.
PAD symptoms affecting the legs may include:
- Cramping muscle pain that can worsen with activity
- Slow or non-healing sores on the feet and lower legs
- Lack of hair growth on the legs
The discomfort related to PAD occurs in muscles and not joints. You may develop symptoms in one or both hips, thighs, and/or calves.
As the affected artery narrows, blood flow decreases, and tissue damage occurs that may lead to widespread infection and even amputation.
The underlying causes of PAD are the same as those linked to coronary artery disease (CAD) and both fit under the umbrella of atherosclerosis. Thus, if you have one, your specialist may suspect the other is at play as well.
What is balloon angioplasty for PAD?
Balloon angioplasty for PAD is a nonsurgical, minimally invasive treatment that’s used to open narrowed or blocked peripheral arteries.
A tiny needle is inserted into your artery, generally in your hip area, and a flexible tube (catheter) is inserted through the needle into the artery.
Using specialized X-ray imaging (fluoroscopy) we cross the blocked artery. Then angioplasty is performed, a balloon is inflated, opening the blocked artery and allowing blood to flow normally again. If required, stenting also takes place at this time.
What is stenting?
Stenting is often recommended to help hold a weakened artery open. A stent is made from wire mesh that’s tube-shaped and open on both ends. Stents reinforce blood vessel walls at an area of previous blockage.
You can expect to remain under medical observation for a few hours following the procedure but balloon angioplasty and stenting are outpatient procedures.
What Is Atherectomy?:
Atherectomy is the use of a special minimally invasive roto-rooter like tool used to remove the plaque from blocked arteries. This treatment can make balloon angioplasty more effective in some cases and lead to better outcomes when treating extensive arterial blockages.
For a nonsurgical treatment solution that can eliminate your symptoms of PAD, schedule an appointment with peripheral artery disease specialist Dr. Ali Golshan at Beach Wellness MD, today. Call our office or request an appointment online.