Peripheral Vascular/Artery Disease (PAD)
This refers to diseases of blood vessels outside the heart and brain. It's
often a narrowing of vessels that carry blood to the legs, arms, stomach
Most people with PAD can be treated with lifestyle changes, medications
or both. In a minority of patients
angioplasty or surgery may be necessary.
Angioplasty is a non-surgical procedure that can be used to dilate (widen)
narrowed or blocked peripheral arteries. A thin tube called a catheter
with a deflated balloon on its tip is passed into the narrowed artery
segment. Then the balloon is deflated and the catheter is withdrawn.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.
If the narrowing involves a long portion of an artery, surgery may be necessary.
A vein from another part of the body or a synthetic blood vessel is used.
It's attached above and below the blocked area to detour blood around
the blocked spot.