Talk to your doctor about the risks and complications of angioplasty.
Peripheral angioplasty is a procedure that helps open blockages in peripheral arteries. These vessels carry blood to your lower body and legs.
Before the Procedure
- Tell your doctor about all medications you take and any allergies you may have.
- Don’t eat or drink after midnight the night before the procedure.
- Arrange for a family member or friend to drive you home.
During the Procedure
- You may get medication through an IV (intravenous) line to relax you. After an injection numbs the site, a tiny skin incision is made near an artery in your groin.
- Your doctor inserts a catheter (thin tube) through the incision (insertion site), then threads it into an artery while viewing a video monitor.
- Contrast “dye” is injected into the catheter. X-rays are taken (angiography).
- A tiny balloon is pushed through the catheter to the blockage. Your doctor inflates and deflates the balloon a few times to compress the plaque. A stent (small metal or mesh tube) may be placed to help keep your artery open. The balloon and catheter are then removed.
After the Procedure
You’ll be taken to a recovery area. Pressure is applied to the insertion site for about 15 minutes. You will need to keep your leg still and straight for a few hours. You will go home that day or spend the night in the facility. You will be instructed what to do when you go home.
Call Your Doctor If:
- You notice a lump or bleeding at the site where the catheter was inserted.
- You feel pain at the insertion site.
- You become lightheaded or dizzy.
- You have leg pain or numbness.