Stenting is a procedure used to treat the narrowing or blockage of an artery. This uses either a balloon to stretch the artery (angioplasty) or metal scaffold to hold the artery open (stent). These procedures improve blood flow which helps to relieve any symptoms you are experiencing. Peripheral arterial stenting uses a stent to widen an artery.
There is no cure for peripheral arterial disease (PAD), but lifestyle changes and medication can help reduce the symptoms. These treatments can also help reduce your risk of developing other types of cardiovascular disease (CVD), such as coronary heart disease, stroke and heart attack.
This is very important, because having PAD is a sign that your blood vessels are unhealthy, which can mean you are more likely to develop one of these potentially more serious problems. Surgery may be used in severe cases or when initial treatment has not effectively reduced your symptoms.
Peripheral Arterial Stenting is a procedure done to treat a narrowed or blocked artery in an arm or leg. This brings blood flow back to the arm or leg. It also helps ease symptoms. The procedure is done by a specially trained doctor called an interventional radiologist.
All patients with peripheral artery disease are treated using risk factor management, which depending on symptoms and blockage could include:
* Aspirin regimen
* Improved diet
* Smoking cessation
* Controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes
Peripheral Arterial Stent Procedure:
One treatment for blocked arteries in the legs is stenting. This minimally invasive procedure is similar to stenting for heart disease. A long, thin, flexible tube called a catheter is inserted through a small puncture site or incision over an artery in the groin. The catheter is guided through the arteries to the blocked area(s).
Once in place, a special balloon attached to the catheter is inflated and deflated several times, pushing the plaque against the artery walls and widening the vessel. A tiny metal mesh tube called a stent is then placed in the narrowed artery to keep it open allowing to flow the blood properly. The balloon is then deflated and removed from the blood vessel.
What to Expect After the Procedure?
Most patients with PAD who are treated with angioplasty and stenting are released from the hospital 12 to 24 hours after the catheter is removed. Many patients are able to return to work within a few days to a week after a procedure. If your interventional procedure included insertion of a stent, your interventional cardiologist or vascular specialist will provide prescriptions for blood-thinning drugs, typically for a month to a year.
It is very important that you follow doctor’s instructions and take your medications as the doctor prescribed. Even after you begin to feel better, you should never stop taking your medications at any time without speaking with your interventional cardiologist.
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