Blood vessels may become narrowed or blocked over time as the result of peripheral arterial disease or other related conditions. Through minimally invasive procedures, interventional radiologists can open the blocked vessels. Procedures such as angiograms, angioplasty, stent graphs and stenting can diagnose and correct problems in the arterial system.
Most people are familar with the term Peripheral Artery Disease or PAD, but interventional radiologists perform arterial interventions throughout the body.
Some of the places where the above procedures are performed are:
- Abdominal Aortic Stent Graft
- Aortic Stent Graft
- Mesenteric Artery – Angioplasty & Stenting
- Renal Artery – Angioplasty – Stenting
Angiography, also known as an angiogram, is an X-ray exam of the arteries and veins used to diagnose blockages and other blood vessel problems.
During this procedure, an interventional radiologist inserts a thin tube (catheter) into the artery through a small nick in the skin about the size of the tip of a pencil. A contrast agent (X-ray dye) is injected to make the blood vessels visible on the X-ray. The exam is performed in the hospital in the interventional radiology suite.
Angioplasty is a practice used to open blocked or narrowed blood vessels caused by peripheral arterial disease or other conditions. During the procedure, the interventional radiologist inserts a very small balloon attached to a thin catheter into a blood vessel through a small nick in the skin. Using x-ray guidance, the catheter is directed to the site of the blocked artery. The balloon is inflated to open the artery.
Angioplasty and stenting have generally replaced open surgery and become the preferred first-line treatment because research has shown interventional therapy to be as effective as surgery for many arterial occlusions.
Abdominal Aortic Stent Graft
Abdominal aortic aneurysm stent grafts are performed to bypass large aneurysms in the abdominal section of the aorta which could otherwise lead to life-threatening rupture.
During the procedure, an interventional radiologist advances a catheter through a small incision in the groin to the site of the aneurysm. Through the catheter, the radiologist places a fabric tube (graft) that is long enough to span the bulging area. The tube is held in place by a stent, which is a metal mesh tube. The stent exerts outward pressure against the graft and artery to keep the graft snuggly in position. The blood then flows through the graft and bypasses the aneurysm. Without the pressure of flowing blood, the aneurysm will eventually shrink and the risk of rupture is greatly reduced.
A stent is a small, mesh tube used in procedures to open narrow or blocked arteries. During the procedure, an interventional radiologist threads a small catheter through a tiny incision in the groin to the location of the abnormal vessel. The stent is pushed through the catheter and into the artery. Once in place, the stent will support the inner wall of the artery and restore blood flow through the once problematic vessel.
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