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Minimally Invasive Vascular Procedures


This means taking an x-ray while injecting dye to study blood flow in the arteries. The resulting image can be used to examine almost any artery within the body. Often, less-invasive tests, such as magnetic resonance angiography and CT angiography, are used as well.


In some cases of peripheral artery disease, your physician may recommend angioplasty and stenting. This procedure is considered minimally invasive in comparison to open surgery. It is most effective for more localized blockages in the larger arteries.

Carotid angiography/stents

Using imaging for guidance, the vascular surgeon threads a catheter to the carotid artery, then inflates a balloon to open the blood vessel where it is narrowed or blocked. In some cases, this is then held open with a stent, a tiny metal mesh cylinder.

Peripheral angioplasty

Peripheral angioplasty is performed much like that of a PCTA described above, but to open blocked arteries or remove blood clots in the patient’s legs.

Peripheral stents

When balloon angioplasty alone is not enough to restore blood flow to the peripheral (leg) muscle, Mercyhealth’s cardiologists have the option of using peripheral stents. The stent is a stainless steel wire mesh tube mounted on a balloon catheter. The catheter is placed at the site of the blockage and inflated. The balloon expands the stent and compresses the plaque against the wall of the vessel, thus improving blood flow to the leg muscle.


This is a method of removing varicose veins on the surface of the legs. It is done in the office under local anesthesia. It involves making tiny punctures or incisions through which the veins are removed. The incisions are so small no stitches are required and the patient is able to walk the next day.

Radiofrequency ablation

This involves inserting a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into the varicose vein. The tip of the catheter heats the walls of the vein and destroys the vein tissue. Once destroyed, the vein is no longer able to carry blood and is absorbed by the body.


This is the most common way to treat both spider and varicose veins. A saline or chemical solution is injected into the veins. This causes them to harden, so they no longer fill with blood. Blood that normally returns to the heart through these veins will now return through other veins. The veins that received the injection eventually shrivel and disappear, and the scar tissue is absorbed by the body.

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Minimally Invasive Vascular Procedures