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Home > For Patients > Information and Guides: Angioplasty and Stenting

Angioplasty and Stenting : A guide for Patients and Families

What is Angioplasty and Stenting?

An Angioplasty is a procedure to open blocked arteries.  The physician can open blocked or narrowed blood vessels caused by peripheral artery disease or other conditions by placing a small balloon inside a narrowed blood vessel and inflate it.  Stents are tiny mesh tubes that support the artery walls to keep the vessels open after the balloon has been used.  In some patients, high blood pressure is caused by a blockage in the artery to the kidney, a condition known as renal hypertension.  This artery too can be treated with angioplasty and stenting.

                             
How is this done?

Angioplasty and stenting is usually done through the small puncture used for the angiogram. The physician guides a catheter through the blood vessels to the blocked area.  The tip of the catheter carries the angioplasty balloon or stent.  This is typically done just after the angiogram on the same day.  There are circumstances determined by your physician in where you would need to return on a different day after the angiogram for the angioplasty and stenting.  Your physician will inform if this is the case.


Are there any complications?

Serious complications are unusual after an angioplasty and stenting.  Mild complications include bleeding or bruising where the puncture was made.  These problems usually go away.   Serious complications include: allergic reaction to the contrast dye, a clot in the artery that was treated, a torn or weakened blood vessel, damage to the lining of the artery, blockages developing in the arteries downstream from the treated artery called embolization, a blood collection called a hematoma, or kidney proble

What can I expect after angioplasty and stenting?

You will need to stay in bed for 6 to 24 hours after your angioplasty.  You will be closely monitored. You may be prescribed new medication that thins your blood to will prevent clots from forming on your stent.  You will follow up in your physician’s office after you are discharge home and you might have testing to see how the blood is flowing through your treated artery.

Am I a candidate for angioplasty and stenting?

If you have moderate to severe narrowing or blockage in one or more of your vessels you may be a candidate.  If you have extremely hard plaque deposits, extensive or particularly long blockages you may not be a good candidate for angioplasty.

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