How well does an angioplasty for peripheral arterial disease of the legs work?
Angioplasty can restore blood flow and relieve intermittent claudication. Angioplasty may help you walk farther without leg pain than you did before the procedure.
How well angioplasty works depends on the size of the blood vessel, the length of blood vessel affected, and whether the blood vessel is completely blocked.
In general, angioplasty works best in the following types of arteries:
- Larger arteries.
- Arteries with short narrowed areas.
- Narrowed, not blocked, arteries.
What are the risks of an angioplasty for peripheral arterial disease of the legs?
Complications related to the catheter include:
Pain, swelling, and tenderness at the catheter insertion site.Irritation of the vein by the catheter (superficial thrombophlebitis).Bleeding at the catheter site.A bruise where the catheter was inserted. This usually goes away in a few days.
Serious complications are rare.
These complications may include:
Sudden closure of the artery.Blood clots.A small tear in the inner lining of the artery.An allergic reaction to the contrast material used to view the arteries.Kidney damage. In rare cases, the contrast material can damage the kidneys, possibly causing kidney failure.Radiation risk
There is always a slight risk of damage to cells or tissues from being exposed to any radiation, including the low levels of X-ray used for this test. But the risk of damage from the X-rays is usually very low compared with the potential benefits of the test.
What happens when you go home after peripheral artery angioplasty?
Be sure you have someone to drive you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine make it unsafe for you to drive.
You will be given more specific instructions about recovering from your procedure. They will cover things like diet, wound care, follow-up care, driving, and getting back to your normal routine.
© 2016-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated.