Widening / dilatation

A vascular stenosis can occur in many vessels of the body and lead to different symptoms.

Stenosis of pelvic artery or leg artery can cause the peripheral vascular disease. Symptoms very from, e. g., pain while walking or, in worser cases, at rest to a permanent blood circulatory disorder affecting one extremity.

Carotid stenosis and intracranial stenosis (especially of brain vessels) are the most frequent cause of an apoplectic stroke, most often triggered by embolism. In case of embolism, a clot of blood develops at the location of the stenosis, which can flood to a cerebral artery, causing an acute blood circulatory disorder.

The treatment of the aforementioned vascular stenosis is mainly an endovascular therapy, the so-called widening or dilatation. During dilatation, a balloon catheter is guided to the affected artery. The access for the catheter is mainly the femoral artery in the groin.

The stenosis is widened by a balloon. This dilatation is often sufficient for the treatment of the vascular stenosis. In the last years, drug eluting balloons are increasingly used. This technique improves the chances of a permanent opening of the vessel. Even completely closed vessels can be re-opened again permanently.

Dilatations on leg arteries or carotid arteries are carried out using local anesthetics, but general anesthesia is useful on cerebral arteries.

If the dilatation is not sufficient, a stent is placed in addition. Special stents for leg or cerebral arteries are available today.

After every vascular dilatation, follow-up examinations are necessary, mostly by using ultrasound or MRI (MR angiography).