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Peripheral Angioplasty

Peripheral angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to remove the blockage or plaque build-up in a vein or artery outside the brain and heart (usually in the legs). It is carried out using an x-ray like machine called an angiogram. A thin tube called a catheter is inserted into the artery or vein and when it reaches the affected area a balloon at the end of the catheter is inflated. This pushes out the plaque build-up and clears the blockage. The balloon is then deflated. Sometimes if the artery or vein is determined to be very weak and if it poses a risk of a collapse, a stent is placed at the site to hold it up and allow regular blood flow.