Balloon Angioplasty

Balloon Angioplasty and Stents Treatments in Melbourne
Doctors performing Balloon Angioplasty in operation theater

What is Balloon Angioplasty?

Balloon angioplasty is a commonly performed, less invasive treatment for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) which narrows blood vessels to the arms and/or legs, leading to pain on walking and in some cases, can lead to pain at rest or non-healing wounds.

It can also be performed in other blood vessels with narrowings (stenoses) or blockages such as the aorta, carotid arteries and arteriovenous (AV) fistula in dialysis patients and certain veins.
During balloon angioplasty, an angiogram is performed via an artery in the groin (sometimes in the arm) to further investigate the area of stenoses or blockage. A small balloon catheter is inserted and advanced to the relevant narrowed or blocked region. The balloon is then inflated to enlarge the blood vessel being treated. The balloon is then removed. In certain circumstances, delivery of low dose paclitaxel via a drug eluting balloon (DEB) can be beneficial in arteries at high risk of narrowing (restenosis).

What is Stent Treatment?

Stents are small, expandable mesh tubes made from medical grade alloys such as stainless steel or nitinol that maintain expansion via a “scaffolding” effect on treated arteries and veins.

There are many different types of stents available, selection of which depends on the size of blood vessel treated, as well as the extent of narrowings or blockages encountered during the angiogram.

Stents remain permanently after the procedure, and usually require ongoing surveillance (checks) via ultrasound scans to look for re-narrowing.

After the stent insertion, blood thinning medications are usually required and depends on the size, number and location the stents are placed.

Is Balloon Angioplasty or Stent better?

There is considerable research and evidence to point towards the use of balloon angioplasty and stent treatments.

However, which method is superior depends on the type of blood vessel being treated, the severity of the narrowings and blockage and even on the type of balloon or stent chosen.

Every condition and patient is different, and Dr Wu endeavours to discuss and explain this to each patient prior to the procedure.

Angioplasty is a procedure to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. These blood vessels are called the coronary arteries. A coronary artery stent is a small, metal mesh tube that expands inside a coronary artery. A stent is often placed during or immediately after angioplasty.
More than a year after therapy, it may be a bit higher than with bare metal stents. Even though drug eluting stents have a higher re-obstruction rate, most studies go only four to five years after stenting and indicate that the risk of re-obstruction is generally about 1 to 2 percent for either type of stent.


Our Locations

Burwood Specialist Care,
323 Blackburn Road, Burwood East

Churchill Consulting Suites, Mulgrave Private Hospital

Wellness on Wellington,
1101 Wellington Road, Rowville

Western Private Hospital,
Suite 2, 44 Eleanor Street, Footscray

North Western Vascular,
59 Holmes Road, Moonee Ponds

The Elms Family Medical Centre,
160 Main Street, Bacchus Marsh