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Are there minimally invasive treatments for PAD?

Yes, the minimally invasive treatments for PAD are called endovascular procedures. They include balloon angioplasty, atherectomy and stenting. A thin, slender flexible tube called a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel to reach the site where the blood vessel is blocked or narrowed by fatty deposits called plaque. Some of these tubes are designed to scrape the plaque from the artery. Other catheters have a tiny, uninflated balloon on its tip. When the catheter reaches the blocked or narrowed artery, the physician inflates the balloon, which forces the plaque to the sides of the blood vessel and opens the path for blood flow. A tiny metal mesh tube, called a stent, may then be placed in the blood vessel to keep it from renarrowing.

 

Similar catheter-based procedures are also commonly used to treat blocked arteries to the heart to restore blood flow, stop chest pain (angina), halt a heart attack, or lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.  

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.