Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty of the Femoral Artery

Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty is a newer, minimally invasive (without a large incision) procedure used to open the blocked or narrowed femoral artery and to restore arterial blood flow to the lower leg without open vascular surgery.

A special catheter (long hollow tube) is inserted into the femoral artery. The catheter has a tiny balloon at its tip. The balloon is inflated once the catheter has been placed into the narrowed area of the artery. The inflation of the balloon compresses the fatty tissue in the artery and makes a larger opening inside the artery for improved blood flow.

A stent (a tiny, expandable metal coil) may be inserted into the newly-opened area of the artery to help keep the artery from narrowing or closing again.