Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA)/stent is the most common non-surgical treatment of PVD. PTA is a procedure that dilates or “opens up” blocked arteries by threading a thin plastic tube called a balloon catheter to the point of narrowing. The balloon is inflated and presses the plaque against the vessel wall in order to restore proper blood flow. The balloon is then deflated and removed from the artery. A stent may be placed in the artery after angioplasty.
Ankle/Brachial Index (ABI)
This test is done by measuring blood pressure at the ankle and in the arm while a person is at rest. The ankle-brachial index (ABI) result is used to predict the severity of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). A slight drop in your ABI with exercise means that you probably have PAD. This drop may be important because PAD can be linked to a higher risk of heart attack or stroke.
This test is done to screen for peripheral arterial disease of the legs. It is also used to see how well a treatment is working (such as medical treatment, an exercise program, angioplasty, or surgery).
An atherectomy is a procedure that utilizes a catheter with a sharp blade on the end to remove plaque from a blood vessel.
The catheter is designed to collect the removed plaque in a chamber in the tip, which allows removal of the plaque as the device is removed from the artery.
The process can be repeated at the time the treatment is performed to remove a significant amount of disease from the artery, thus eliminating a blockage from atherosclerotic disease.