Skip to Content
UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital
DONATE Donate
SHARE TEXT

Angioplasty for Peripheral Arterial Disease of the Legs

Iliac artery is narrowed by plaque

Peripheral arterial disease
slide 1 of 5
    

Angioplasty is used to open narrowed arteries and increase oxygen-rich blood flow to muscle and tissue.

Catheter is inserted

Angioplasty for peripheral arterial disease: Step 1
slide 2 of 5
    

After you are sedated, the surgeon inserts a thin, flexible tube called a catheter through a femoral artery in the thigh and carefully guides it to the narrowed part of the iliac artery.

Balloon is inflated, stent is expanded

Angioplasty for peripheral arterial disease: Step 2
slide 3 of 5
    

The surgeon guides the catheter to the narrowed part of the artery and inflates a small balloon at the end of a tube. The balloon may remain inflated for a short time. If the doctor is going to place a stent in the artery, the balloon is inflated inside of the stent. The pressure from the inflated balloon causes the stent to expand and press the plaque against the wall of the artery, creating more room for blood to flow.

Balloon is removed, stent is in place

Angioplasty for peripheral arterial disease: Step 3
slide 4 of 5
    

Next, the surgeon deflates the balloon and removes it, leaving the expanded stent in place to keep the walls of the artery open.

Before and after surgery

Angioplasty for peripheral arterial disease: Before and after
slide 5 of 5
    

Angioplasty can widen a narrowed part of an artery. This increases the flow of oxygen-rich and nutrient-rich blood to the leg.

By Healthwise Staff
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
David A. Szalay, MD - Vascular Surgery
Last Revised October 26, 2013

Last Revised: October 26, 2013

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & David A. Szalay, MD - Vascular Surgery

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.