Angioplasty is the stretching of an artery that is narrowed. This narrowing causes slow blood flow or no blood flow through the artery and could compromise the function of vital organs.

During an angioplasty, a small balloon catheter is guided into the narrowed artery and the balloon is inflated to open up the narrowed artery.  This allows more blood to flow to the affected organ.

You will be given special eating and drinking instructions when scheduling the procedure with an interventional RN or technologist. You and your child will go to Same Day Surgery one to two hours before the scheduled procedure time.

You and your child may also be scheduled to be seen in the Interventional Radiology clinic where you will meet the interventional radiologist, RN and the nurse practitioner.

Parents may go with their child to the interventional radiology suite, where the child will have the procedure. When your child falls asleep, we will take you to the Surgery Waiting Area, where you will stay until the procedure is complete.

The interventional radiologist will use a small needle to locate the artery in the groin area. A catheter is then guided with fluoroscopy or "moving X-ray" through the catheter placed in the groin area. The catheter is threaded into the narrowed artery and the small balloon catheter is inflated to dilate (open) the artery. This procedure may take two to four hours.

After the angioplasty, your child will need to stay very quiet for 24 hours, keeping the right leg straight. This helps with the healing of the small puncture wound in the groin area and also prevents any bleeding or bruising for the groin puncture site.

Your child will wake up in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit or in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for special monitoring. You will join your child when he / she wakes up. Following angioplasty, your child will be placed on a blood thinner (heparin) for 24 hours to prevent a blood clot from forming at the angioplasty site. During this 24-hour period, your child will be observed and cared for in the PICU. Usually after 24 hours your child will be transferred out of the ICU area and into a regular room until discharged home.

At discharge your child will be placed on aspirin therapy for two months.

Last Updated 09/2013