Peripheral Angioplasty/Stent/Atherectomy

Peripheral Angioplasty, Stent and Atherectomy in Opelousas

The expert medical professionals at Louisiana Cardiovascular & Nephrology Center of Excellence specialize in minimally invasive treatments for peripheral artery disease (PAD) which restore blood flow to affected areas in the lower extremities. These treatments improve quality of life by relieving pain, improve wound healing and mobility, restore sensation, and most importantly, they can prevent amputation.

Opelousas Endovascular Angioplasty and Stent Example - Louisiana Cardiovascular Nephrology Center of Excellence

Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty (PTA)

Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty is one of the most common treatments for PAD. A catheter is inserted into the affected artery (usually the femoral artery) and is guided to the blockage using X-ray technology. A small balloon on the tip of the catheter is inflated to push the plaque against the artery wall, widening the space for blood to flow. The balloon may be coated in medicine that helps the artery heal with less scarring. This is called a drug-eluting balloon.


If your customized treatment plan includes a stent, after the balloon pushes the plaque to the sides of the artery it then collapses, and the stent is left in place to maintain the necessary space for adequate blood flow. The mesh of the stent may be covered in synthetic fabric along with medicine to assist with healing. This is called a drug-eluting stent.


Another treatment frequently performed during percutaneous transluminal angioplasty is called Atherectomy. Rather than keeping the plaque in place, atherectomy is performed to remove plaque from the affected artery. There are several ways that this is accomplished.

In some cases, the doctor may determine a rotational atherectomy is the most appropriate method. It involves using small diamond bits to grind down the plaque into microscopic particles which are disposed of naturally.

During directional atherectomy a small balloon pushes plaque to the side of the vessel and then a small blade removes the plaque from the walls. The plaque particles are stored within the device and removed at the end of the procedure.

During laser atherectomy a small laser is placed on the catheter, which vaporizes the plaque as it tunnels through the blockage.