Leg Artery Angioplasty/Stent

Leg artery angioplasty, or peripheral angioplasty, is a minimally invasive procedure used to clear fatty deposits in arteries in the lower extremities that are blocking blood flow. It often helps patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) avoid a more complicated bypass surgery.

During the procedure, board-certified interventional cardiologist Dr. Shawn Howell uses a cardiac catheter to reach the narrowed leg artery. She inserts a small amount of dye into the artery to make it visible on an X-ray. A balloon is then temporarily inflated to widen your artery and restore blood flow to your heart. The pressure from the balloon pushes the fat and plaque against the arterial wall.

Atherectomy, a procedure used to remove the plaque from the arteries, and stenting are additional techniques that may be added to the procedure to keep the arteries clear. With stenting, which is rare in a leg artery, a metallic tube is inserted to keep the artery open and prevent it from narrowing.

After your procedure, Dr. Howell will review your results with you and discuss further treatments that may be necessary. She will educate you about your condition and how to maintain vascular health going forward, as well as address any questions you may have.

Preparing for a Leg Artery Angioplasty

Before your procedure, you should let Dr. Howell know if you have any allergies to X-ray dye or shellfish. Patients who are allergic to either will be given medications prior to the procedure to prevent a reaction to the dye used during the procedure. You should not eat for 8 to 12 hours before your scheduled appointment.

If you’re looking for a compassionate vascular specialist, call (202) 466-3000 or request an appointment online at one of our metro DC offices today. At Capital Cardiovascular Specialists, we treat each patient as an individual, not a disease.

American College Cardiology American Heart Association American Society of Nuclear Cardiology American Board of Internal Medicine