What is Peripheral Angiography and Angioplasty?
Peripheral angiography and angioplasty are two interventional procedures used to diagnose and treat peripheral artery disease (PAD) in the blood vessels outside the heart, typically in the legs or arms.
Peripheral angiography involves the use of contrast dye and X-ray imaging to visualize the blood vessels and identify any blockages or narrowing. During the procedure, a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel, usually in the groin area, and guided to the affected area. Contrast dye is then injected through the catheter, allowing the blood vessels to be seen on X-ray images. This helps the physician determine the location and severity of the blockages or narrowing.
Once the blockages or narrowing are identified, peripheral angioplasty may be performed. This procedure involves using a specialized balloon-tipped catheter that is inserted through the same access point as the angiography. The balloon is positioned at the site of the blockage or narrowing and inflated, which compresses the plaque against the artery walls, widening the vessel and restoring blood flow. In some cases, a stent (a small mesh tube) may be placed during angioplasty to help keep the artery open.
Peripheral angiography and angioplasty are minimally invasive procedures that can be effective in improving blood flow and relieving symptoms associated with PAD, such as leg pain or cramping. They are typically performed by interventional cardiologists or vascular surgeons in a specialized catheterization laboratory.
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