Arterial Interventions, Angioplasty

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is Angioplasty?

A. 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.

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Arterial Interventions

At American Access Care of Baltimore, we perform several types of arterial interventions to help improve blood flow through the body’s arteries and veins: angioplasty, stent placement, and vascular reconstruction.

Dialysis patients’ grafts or fistulas can sometimes require intervention if any of the following conditions occur

  • clotted access
  • high venous pressure
  • prolonged bleeding
  • re circulation
  • pain
  • infiltration
  • difficult cannulation
  • swollen extremity
  • non-maturing fistula
  • steal syndrome
  • aneurysm

At American Access Care of Baltimore we are fully equipped to handle any of the above situations.


Angioplasty is a non-surgical procedure that can be used to dilate, or widen, narrowed or blocked peripheral arteries. Using imaging techniques to guide it, a thin tube called a catheter with a deflated balloon on its tip is passed into the narrowed artery segment. The balloon is then inflated, compressing the plaque and dilating the narrowed artery so blood can flow more easily. Then the balloon is deflated and the catheter is withdrawn.

Often, a stent – a cylindrical, wire mesh tube – is placed in the narrowed artery with a catheter. There the stent expands and locks open. It stays in that spot, keeping the diseased artery open.


Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of a blood clot, knowFistulan as a thrombus, in the AV Graft or AV Fistula. A thrombectomy is the excision of an abnormal or dangerous thrombus (blood clot). It is performed intraluminally (meaning directly in the cavity of a vessel) using a balloon catheter. The thrombus is then either pressed against the walls in order to restore at least part of the natural lumen; or the balloon is 'opened' after the thrombus and then carefully moved retrogradely so that the clot can be drawn out of the vessel.

Thrombectomies usually occur as a result of thrombosis or a blood clot in a vein or artery. Thrombectomies are performed to clear a blockage in a fistula or graft (AV fistulas and grafts are used for dialysis kidney treatment). Dialysis access devices can cause this problem. Blood clots can form in temporary access catheters, fistulas, and grafts. Clotting can decrease or stop blood flow and make dialysis impossible.

American Access Care of Baltimore can remove these clots by performing a thrombectomy.

Stent Placement

In vascular stenting, which may be performed with angioplasty, a small wire mesh tube, called a stent, is permanently placed in the newly opened artery or vein to help it remain open. A stent may be required because fatty deposits can block blood flow through arteries and cause pain. A piece may break off, form a clot, and cause a heart attack or stroke. A stent opens the blockage and keeps it open, which allows blood to flow smoothly. Good blood flow reduces pain and risks of clots forming.

The doctor will insert a tiny, flexible plastic tube called a catheter through an artery in our groin, leg, or arm. A special dye is injected so blood flow through the arteries is visible on the TV monitors. The doctor moves a balloon catheter, and then a stent, to the site of the blockage. The balloon is inflated and stretched wide against the artery walls, which opens the blockage. Then the balloon is deflated and taken out, leaving the stent in place.

Vascular Reconstruction

Vascular reconstruction is used to help treat vascular diseases, which are diseases of the arteries and veins. They can include blood clots, arteriosclerosis, and other vascular conditions.

Need more information or would like to request an appointment? Call 410-931-9729 today.