Treating Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) with Endovascular Balloon Angioplasty
Living with peripheral artery disease (PAD) can cause you discomfort on a daily basis. The pain, heaviness, and aching can get in the way of your goals and plans. Often, you can manage your symptoms through lifestyle changes and taking medications. However, sometimes additional interventions are needed for optimal improvement. One procedure, known as endovascular balloon angioplasty, can help restore blood flow to your peripheral arteries and improve your symptoms of PAD.
At the Center for Vascular Care at HCA, we are dedicated to keeping you informed about your many options when it comes to PAD management. Here’s what you need to know about endovascular treatments using balloon angioplasty and how they can help.
What Is an Endovascular Balloon Angioplasty Treatment?
Endovascular balloon angioplasty is a minimally-invasive way to physically widen arteries that have narrowed due to peripheral artery disease (PAD). This therapy is sometimes referred to as percutaneous transluminal angioplasty.
During an endovascular balloon angioplasty treatment, a healthcare provider introduces a thin tube with a balloon attached to its tip over a guidewire and into one of your arteries, most commonly a leg artery. Once the balloon reaches a part of the artery that is partially blocked by a fatty deposit in the arterial wall (a condition known as atherosclerosis), it is inflated by the medical provider using contrast dye. The inflated balloon compresses the fatty deposit and widens the artery, making it easier for blood to flow through and reducing the symptoms of PAD.
Sometimes, a small column-shaped device known as a stent is also inserted at the site of the balloon angioplasty to ensure that the artery stays open even after the balloon is removed.
Why Is Endovascular Balloon Angioplasty Performed?
Balloon angioplasty can be performed when you’re not getting enough relief from smoking cessation and other treatments for your peripheral artery disease (PAD). If you are experiencing claudication (leg cramping) every time you try to walk—or significant, unrelenting discomfort even at rest—it may be time to consider an intervention with balloon angioplasty to help improve your symptoms. You may also be a candidate for this procedure if you’re experiencing complications of PAD such as leg infections, gangrene, or skin ulcers.
What Are the Potential Complications and Risks of Endovascular Balloon Angioplasty?
Endovascular balloon angioplasty is a minimally-invasive way to improve the symptoms of peripheral artery disease (PAD). However, like any medical procedure, it does confer the risk of certain complications.
The risks of the procedure may include:
- Bleeding or infection at the catheter insertion site.
- Allergic reactions to the medications used during the procedure.
- Blood clots developing in your leg and spreading to your lungs.
- Damage to a blood vessel or nerve.
- Misplacement or migration of a stent.
- Heart attack or kidney failure.
Sometimes, the procedure may not result in an adequate opening of your artery, and your symptoms may persist despite having undergone the procedure. If this is the case, you may need an alternate form of treatment, such as open surgery or even amputation. Your provider will discuss any potential risks and everything you need to know prior to your procedure.
How to Learn More About Endovascular Treatment for Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
At The Center for Vascular Care at HCA, our dedicated team is committed to providing you with all the information and resources needed to optimize your vascular health.
To make an appointment to discuss your diagnosis and personalized treatment options with one of our specialists, contact us today.