Overview

Peripheral Arterial Disease (or PAD) is when the arteries in the legs become blocked and the legs do not receive enough blood or oxygen. The VCU Department of Radiology specialty-trained radiologists use guided imaging techniques to perform these minimally-invasive procedures providing patients with reduced hospital stays, as well as minimal downtime and pain.

PAD is caused by the buildup of plaque (substance made up of cholesterol, calcium and fibrous tissue) in the arteries of the legs. As more plaque builds up, arteries narrow and stiffen. Over time, plaque builds up to reduce blood flow to the arteries of the legs. When this happens, a patient's legs does not receive the oxygen it needs.

Angioplasty and stents are often used to widen the artery, thereby allowing more blood flow. Angioplasty consists of inserting a small balloon into the narrow part of the artery and expanding it, pushing back the plaque. Stents are small tubes of fabric reinforced with a metal mesh designed to remain in the artery to hold it open.

Angioplasty and Stents

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) procedure at VCU Health's Baird Vascular Institute

Minimally-invasive

Image-guided techniques are minimally-invasive procedures providing patients with reduced hospital stays and less downtime and pain.