Peripheral Vascular Intervention

What is it?

Peripheral vascular intervention is the use of various minimally invasive imaging procedures to diagnose and treat peripheral vascular disease (PVD). PVD occurs when arteries become narrowed or clogged and inhibit blood flow to an organ or distant part of the body. Interventional procedures to treat PVD utilize small catheters to help widen the arteries. The placement of a stent (small tube) may be recommended to prevent the artery from narrowing again. Using the least invasive procedures available minimizes your risks and makes recovery times faster.

What is it for?

Peripheral vascular interventions are performed for hardening of the arteries, when arteries are obstructed by plaque. They remove the plaque and reestablish blood flow through the artery.

How to prepare

  • Communicate with your doctor about your medical history and medications you are taking
  • You will need to fast the night before the surgery


  • Brain damage
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Additional artery blockage

What happens during?

  • You will be under anesthesia and not awake for the procedure
  • You’ll lie on your back throughout the procedure
  • The procedures range from 30 minutes to several hours
  • A catheter is placed in a blood vessel through a small incision, usually in a leg or arm
  • The catheter is threaded to the blocked artery and acts as a guide for the doctor to use tools to unblock the artery
  • Tiny blades or lasers break up the plaque into tiny pieces that dissolve in the blood

What happens after?

  • You might stay in the hospital one to two days to recover
  • You will be given instructions on how to care for your incision wound
  • You should avoid strenuous activities until the doctor tells you it is OK to do so

Side effects

  • Bleeding
  • Infection