Lower extremity angioplasty is also referred to as a peripheral angiogram. The test injects dye into one or more of the arteries supplying blood to the legs. Dr. Chadda and the team of cardiovascular specialists at the clinic use the test to follow the dye until it reaches a narrowed or clogged section of a leg artery. The test determines whether Dr. Chadda will decide whether surgery is required to remove a blood clot. After removing a blood clot, Dr. Chadda might place a stent or balloon within a blocked artery to ensure normal blood flow. Many of our patients don’t require surgical intervention and instead, need only to make a few lifestyle changes.
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR A PERIPHERAL ANGIOGRAM?
We will give you written instructions on the timing and the foods you can eat 24 hours before we conduct a peripheral angiogram. The typical amount of time before the test when we request you to stop eating and drinking is between six and eight hours. Let us know about any medications you are taking, which includes over the counter aspirins and vitamins. Dr. Chadda also needs to know about any allergic reactions you have from iodine, x-ray dye, penicillin, and latex rubber products. Make sure to arrange for someone to pick you up at the clinic to drive you home after lower extremity angioplasty.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE TEST
Dr. Chadda and the team of nurses and technicians perform peripheral angiograms at our outpatient clinic. We insert an intravenous line (IV) into one of the veins running through an arm to deliver fluids and the medications you need to relax during the procedure. A nurse cleans and shaves the area where Dr. Chadda will insert a long, very thin tube called a catheter. We numb the catheter insertion area by applying a local anesthetic. You will remain awake during a lower extremity angioplasty, since you will feel only a little pressure against the skin surrounding the catheter insertion area. After injecting the dye, Dr. Chadda and his team thoroughly review x-rays to determine if an artery is at least partially blocked by a blood clot.
AFTER A LOWER EXTREMITY ANGIOPLASTY
After a peripheral angiogram, we take you to a recovery room to recuperate for between one and three hours. We prevent bleeding around the area of the catheter insertion by applying constant pressure on the small wound. One of our nurses will ask you to keep the leg used for the catheter insertion still during the time you spend in the recovery room. The nurse will check you for bleeding several times until we know it is time to give you instructions on how to care for the insertion wound at home.
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HOME CARE
We recommend our patients refrain from driving a motor vehicle for at least 24 hours after a lower extremity angiography and intervention. The area of catheter insertion might feel slightly sore for a couple of days. You can return to your normal dietary schedule between four and six hours after the cardiovascular procedure. Once cleared to eat and drink again, slowly replenish your body with the fluids lost during the fasting performed before the test.
Call our clinic if you experience any of the following symptoms at home:
- Area of catheter insertion begins to swell or drain fluid
- The area around the catheter insertion point appears more bruised than it did right after the test
- You feel a numbing or tingling sensation in one or both legs
- One or both feet feels cold or turns a pale blue
Dr. Chadda wants you to know that any health risks associated with a lower extremity angioplasty are very low. The health risks include an allergic reaction and an artery that does not heal properly.
During our post procedure consultation, we will give you an extensive list of measures to take for preventing blood from clogging in the veins and arteries. We strongly believe in the timeless axiom of “Prevention is better than the cure.” Our mission is to ensure you enjoy robust health, from recommending lifestyle changes to performing complicated cardiovascular surgeries.
Contact us to determine whether Dr. Chadda should perform the non-surgical procedure known as a peripheral angiogram.