Peripheral Vascular Disease (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
What interventional procedures treat peripheral vascular disease?
Percutaneous (through the skin) balloon angioplasty, or just "angioplasty," is a technique for enlarging an artery that is blocked or narrowed without surgery.
Angioplasty is not a permanent solution for most people. Stenting is a technique for arteries that are very severely blocked or begin to close up again after angioplasty.
What about surgery for peripheral vascular disease?
When the obstructive lesions are long and involve most of the vessel, surgery is the best alternative. The most widely used operation for a blocked or damaged artery is called a bypass. This is similar to the artery bypass operation done on the heart.
A piece of vein, harvested from another part of your body, or a piece of synthetic artery is used to bypass or detour the obstructed segment of disease, therefore restoring blood flow to the downstream or distal portion of the artery.
Surgery is required less often today, as better preventative anti-atherosclerotic medications and techniques have become available for treating blocked or damaged arteries. With modern treatments, surgery is required only for very severe atherosclerosis unresponsive to medications and angioplasty.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/30/2016
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