04/04/2005 - News

Treat peripheral arterial disease without surgery first

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


Treat peripheral arterial disease without surgery first

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

A new study shows that a less invasive treatment is successful in peripheral arterial disease.
The blood vessels in the legs can get blocked with fatty deposits, in a process called atherosclerosis, just as those serving the heart do. In peripheral arterial disease (PAD), as it is known, the patient suffers pain, disability and may even end up needing an amputation.

A team at the University of Rochester Medical Center, New York, now discusses the impact of angioplasty with or without stenting in PAD. The procedure involves threading a catheter into the blocked leg vessel and then passing a tiny balloon into the blocked area. Once inflated, the balloon keeps the artery open, improving blood flow. A wire device called a stent may also be inserted to prop the walls of the vessel apart.

In a study of 360 patients, angioplasty was successful in 92 per cent of cases. Where it did not work, the patient was able to go on to have a bypass operation if necessary. Angioplasty therefore offers a less invasive approach than surgery to the treatment of PAD.

Society of Interventional Radiology meeting 2nd April 2005

Created on: 04/04/2005
Reviewed on: 04/04/2005

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