Arterial Disease

Interventional radiologists are the world’s original pioneers in the use of procedures to open blocked or narrowed blood vessels and to treat internal bleeding without surgery. At University Radiology, our radiologists offer several minimally invasive procedures to treat conditions of the arteries, including:

  • Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, a narrowing or blockage of the arteries in the legs and the most common type of vascular disease, affecting an estimated 20 percent of people age 65 and older.
  • Mesenteric ischemia, a blockage of one or more of the arteries to the intestines that can cause severe pain after eating and weight loss, and renal vascular hypertension, a blockage in the artery to the kidney that causes high blood pressure.
  • Carotid artery stenosis, a narrowing of the arteries that carry blood to the brain — a condition that can lead to a stroke if left untreated.
  • Other conditions, such as diseases of the arteries supplying blood to the arms, which may lead to arm pain.

In many cases, our treatments do not require hospitalization or general anesthesia — only mild sedation — allowing patients to return to normal activities shortly after the procedure. Our procedures include:

Angioplasty and stenting

Balloon angioplasty and stenting are nonsurgical procedures to re-open narrowed and blocked blood vessels. These minimally invasive procedures have become the preferred first-line treatment for arterial disease — in many cases helping patients avoid the need for open surgery. During angioplasty, your interventional radiologist inflates a tiny balloon inside a blocked artery to open it. A small metal tube (called a stent) may then be inserted to keep the vessel open.

What are the benefits?
  • An effective alternative to open surgery for the treatment of many types of blocked blood vessels.
  • Minimally invasive, allowing patients to return to most normal activities shortly after the procedure.
How does the procedure work?

Your interventional radiologist will make a small nick in the skin, and insert a tiny tube (catheter) into a blood vessel. Using X-ray guidance, the catheter is directed to the narrowed or blocked artery. Your radiologist will then inflate a tiny balloon attached to the catheter, which forces the artery open. To keep it open, a small metal device (stent) is inserted. It acts like scaffolding to hold the blood vessel open. If you are undergoing a scheduled angioplasty and stenting, you will generally go home the same day. It may also be performed as part of your overall treatment plan if you are hospitalized.
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Intra-arterial thrombolysis

Thrombolysis is a minimally invasive treatment to break up or dissolve blood clots, often in the legs or arms. The procedure improves blood flow and reduces the risk of complications from clots.

What are the benefits?
  • Eliminates a blood clot, restoring proper blood flow.
  • Relieves blood clot symptoms such as swelling, pain, cramping and tenderness.
How does the procedure work?

Using X-ray imaging guidance, your interventional radiologist will insert a catheter through a tiny nick in the skin, into a blood vessel in the leg. The catheter is advanced to the artery containing the clot. The catheter tip is inserted into the clot, where it releases a clot-busting drug that causes the clot to dissolve. Future clots may be prevented with the use of balloon angioplasty or stent placement and subsequent use of a blood thinner. You may stay a few days in the hospital after the procedure, depending on the severity and location of the clot.
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For an appointment: Call 800-758-5545 Mon – Fri: 8 am – 8 pm, Sat: 8 am – 12 pm