Arterial Interventions, Angioplasty

American Access Care of Baltimore

Majorie Pearsall, MD, Medical Director
Vascular & Interventional Radiology

8140 Corporate Drive, Suite 125
Baltimore, MD 21236

T: 410-931-9729
F: 410-931-2133

Hours: Mon - Fri, 8am - 5pm

Arterial Interventions Frequently Asked Questions

What is Angioplasty?

Angioplasty, with or without vascular stenting, is a minimally invasive procedure performed to improve blood flow. In an angioplasty procedure, imaging techniques are used to guide a balloon tipped catheter, a long, thin plastic tube, into an artery or vein and advance it to where the vessel is narrow or blocked. The balloon is then inflated to open the vessel, deflated and removed. During angioplasty, a small wire mesh tube called a stent may be permanently placed in the newly opened artery or vein to help it remain open. There are two types of stents: bare stents (wire mesh) and covered stents (commonly called stent grafts).

How is the Angioplasty performed?

Image guided, minimally invasive procedures such as angioplasty and vascular stenting should be performed by a specially trained interventional radiologist in an interventional radiology suite. The procedures performed are on an outpatient basis. You will be positioned on the examining table. You will be connected to monitors that track your heart rate, blood pressure, and pulse during the procedure. You will be covered with a sterile drape. Your physician will numb the area with a local anesthetic.

A small nick is made in the skin at the site. Guided by x-rays, the catheter is inserted through the skin and maneuvered through the artery until it reaches the site of the blockage. Once the catheter is in place, contrast material will be injected into the artery and an angiogram will be taken of the blocked artery to help identify the site of the blockage.

At the end of the procedure, the catheter will be removed and sutures applied to stop any bleeding, band aids are applied. When the procedure is completed, you will be given a light lunch and discharged home.