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Peripheral angioplasty is a procedure that is used to treat narrowed or blocked arteries in the circulation of the body. The procedure uses a long, thin, hollow tube with a deflated balloon near its tip called a balloon catheter. The balloon is about as wide as the normal artery and about as long as the blockage to be dilated. Using angiography, this balloon is positioned within the blockage and inflated. This “pushes” the blockage against the wall of the artery and improves blood flow through the artery. The balloon catheter is removed. In most cases, a stent is also “deployed”. A stent is a metal coil or mesh tube that is expanded against the blood vessel wall. This helps keep the artery open and reduces the chance of the blockage recurring.
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