Severe right iliac
artery narrowing
causing right leg

Same patient as
above, following
with Palmaz stent.
This patient's
claudication was
completely cured.

Peripheral Angioplasty

Peripheral Angioplasty is performed to open narrowed or blocked arteries which improves the blood flow to the affected area.

This treatment helps preserve kidney function or control high blood pressure, in the case of renal artery stenosis. It also relieves the symptoms of claudication for those with PVD, and can help to avoid the need for amputation of a limb due to loss of arterial blood flow.

Palmaz stents. The
top image is the stent
prior to the balloon
The bottom image is
the stent after it is

In many cases, the interventional radiologist can treat a blocked blood vessel at the same time the diagnostic angiogram is performed. Interventional radiologists treat arteries narrowed by atherosclerosis or other conditions with techniques called angioplasty and stent placement. These techniques avoid the need for surgery. There is no incision, no stitches, and patients usually return to normal activity shortly after the procedure.

Following is a description of some procedures RCT physicians perform, along with images that show the dramatic findings and results produced using these techniques.

  • Angioplasty

  • In this technique, the interventional radiologist inserts a very small balloon attached to a thin tube (catheter) into a blood vessel through a small nick in the skin. The catheter is threaded under x-ray guidance to the site of the blocked artery. The balloon is inflated at the site of blockage to open the artery.
  • Stent Placement

  • Often, a small metal scaffold / tube, called a stent, is inserted to hold the blood vessel open. These devices are used to prop the artery open from the inside. Stents are either self expanding or are mounted on a balloon and inserted into the artery by inflating the balloon.

    Stents allow the successful treatment of some areas of blockage that respond poorly to angioplasty. In the larger arteries of the body, stents have improved the long-term results of interventional treatment of peripheral vascular disease and other conditions.

    Click on the following areas for information about conditions commonly treated with peripheral angioplasty.

    Renal Artery Stenosis

    Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)

Diagnostic Angiography

Peripheral Angioplasty

Venous Intervention &
Dialysis Access Management

Central Venous Access Catheters


Interventional Neuroradiology


Imaging Guided Biopsy/Abscess Drainage

Biliary Intervention for
Disorders of the Liver

GU Intervention

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