If you are having leg pain from a vascular source and an area of disease has been identified with ultrasonography of some other modality, then the wires and catheters will be directed toward your legs. If I am treating the left leg, I usually enter from the right side. This allows me to evaluate the entire arterial tree from the aorta to the foot. A long sheath( to tube that I operate through) is fed I’ve a wire to the opposite leg. At that time angiography is done and if areas of blockage are identified it is best to address them at that time. There are multiple ways to treat blockages in the legs. Atherectomy is a device that cuts the plaque out of the vessel to improve flow. Balloons of different sizes can be used to open up the vessels and stents are metal mesh tubes that are inserted to hold the vessel open as the inner layer heals.
After the procedure, I prefer to put in some type of closure device. There are a few different types. This seals up the hole in the artery and reduces the amount of time you have to lay on your back with your leg straight.
When any type of angioplasty is done, it is usually followed with some oral medication, such as aspirin or plavix for a period of time. This keeps the platelets in the blood from sticking to the treated area. When they stick to the area, they secrete hormones to cause scarring of the area, which can reocclude the vessel.