Carotid Angioplasty/Stenting

What is a Carotid Angioplasty/Stenting?

Angioplasty, also called balloon angioplasty, and vascular stenting are minimally invasive procedures performed to improve blood flow in the body's arteries. Franklin Moser, MD, Director of Interventional Neuroradiology, heads our team of imaging physicians, nurses and technologists who specialize in this procedures.

How is this Procedure Performed?

To perform an angioplasty, an interventional radiologist makes a small nick in the skin and inserts a balloon-tipped catheter, a thin, plastic tube. The catheter is threaded through the artery until it reaches the site of the blockage, where the balloon is inflated, then deflated and removed. Expanding the balloon helps to restore blood flow by stretching the arterial wall, which increases the inner diameter of the artery.

Many angioplasty procedures also include the placement of a stent, a small, flexible tube made of metal to support the damaged artery walls. Stents are typically placed over a balloon-tipped catheter, which is expanded, pushing the stent in place against the artery wall. When the balloon is deflated and removed, the stent remains permanently in place, acting like a scaffold for the artery.

What are Some Common Uses of the Procedure?

Angioplasty and vascular stenting are commonly used to treat conditions that result when arteries throughout the body become narrowed or blocked, including:

  • Peripheral vascular disease (PVD)/peripheral artery disease (PAD) (narrowing of the arteries in the legs or arms).
  • Renal vascular hypertension (high blood pressure caused by narrowing of the kidney arteries).
  • Hemodialysis access maintenance.
  • Carotid artery disease (narrowing of the neck arteries supplying blood to the brain).
  • Coronary artery disease (narrowing of the heart arteries).

Before Arriving for Your Procedure

  • You will be contacted by a member of our team the day before your procedure (between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.) and given instructions on how you should prepare and what time you should arrive. If you are not contacted, please call (310) 423-4125 early in the morning of your procedure (such as 6 a.m.).
  • You should have your doctor's office fax all orders and lab results to Cedars-Sinai the day before your procedure: (310) 423-0108.
  • You should plan to arrive two hours before your scheduled procedure (three hours if you have not had all your pre-op lab work done.)
  • You should not eat or drink anything from the midnight before your procedure.
  • You should consult with your physician about taking your regular medications prior to your exam. Some medications (such as the blood thinners Coumadin or Plavix) should not be taken before your procedure.
  • You will not be allowed to drive after the procedure, so you should arrange for someone to take you home.
  • We want to make your waiting time as pleasant as possible. Consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass the time.
  • Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home and please wear comfortable clothing.

After Arriving

  • You will meet with an imaging physician who will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you might have.
  • After this discussion, you will be asked to sign a consent form for the procedure.
  • You must notify the nurse, technologist, and/or imaging physician of any allergies you may have, or if you are pregnant, prior to your exam.
  • A small sample of blood will be drawn for testing.

After Your Procedure

  • If your home is more than an hour's drive from the hospital, you may need to stay overnight.
  • Your physician will be sent the results of your test and will discuss the results with you and what they mean for your future treatment.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake, and West Hollywood.