Minimally Invasive Angioplasty and Stenting
Treatment for Narrowed or Blocked Arteries in Denver, CO
Angioplasty and stenting are minimally invasive procedures used to successfully treat advanced forms of diseases such as PAD. Angioplasty and stenting are generally low risk procedures that can result in significantly improved outcomes for patients.
Angioplasty helps to restore blood flow through a narrowed or blocked artery. Before conducting an angioplasty, your doctor will need to locate the narrowed or blocked passages in your arteries through an angiography. During the angioplasty, a catheter with a balloon on its tip will be inserted and threaded to the blocked artery. The balloon will be expanded to flatten the arterial plaque against the artery wall and improve blood flow. The balloon is then deflated and removed.
In some cases, the deflated balloon catheter will be covered with a small wire mesh tube called a stent, which stays in the body permanently to keep the arteries open after the catheter is removed.
What is a Stent?
A stent is a small tube normally made of either metal or plastic that is used to keep a patient’s arteries open for proper flow of vital fluids. This device is permanently placed in order to prevent the artery from narrowing again in the future.
Blocked arteries are very dangerous, especially those that affect the heart. A blockage could easily lead to an aneurysm or stroke, which often result in death. These blockages are typically caused by a buildup of plaque, or by a blood clot.
How the Procedure Works
Most stent placement procedures are minimally invasive, meaning that your Minimally Invasive Procedure Specialist will be able to insert them using a few tiny incisions near the affected artery. Occasionally, your surgeon may also choose to utilize an imaging guide such as a endoscope or an angiogram to assist them in locating the blockage.
The Recovery Process
Because stenting is minimally invasive, it typically only requires a single overnight hospital stay. It is of course also advised for the patient to refrain from any strenuous activities for at least a week or two, depending upon their age and previous health history.
Other post-procedure recommendations include:
- Staying hydrated
- Taking all prescribed medications as directed (most of which will help to prevent blood clots from forming)
- Refraining from any heavy lifting or other intense activities until cleared by your Minimally Invasive Procedure Specialist.
Be sure to seek immediate medical attention if you experience chest pain, a fever, or swelling near the incision site(s). These may all be signs of more serious complications, which need to be addressed as soon as possible to prevent further damage.