What is an Angioplasty Test?

Angioplasty is the stretching of an artery that is narrowed. This narrowing causes slow blood flow or no blood flow through the artery, which 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.

Before the Test

We will give you special eating and drinking instructions when you schedule your 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 need to visit the Interventional Radiology clinic where you will meet the interventional radiologist.

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.

During the Test

The interventional radiologist uses 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 Test

After the angioplasty, your child must 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 prevents any bleeding or bruising at the groin puncture site.

Your child will wake up in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit or in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for special monitoring. You may join your child when they wake up. Following angioplasty, your child will take blood thinner medicine (heparin) for 24 hours to prevent a blood clot from forming at the angioplasty site. During this 24-hour period, we observe your child and care for them in the PICU. Usually after 24 hours your child is transferred out of the ICU area and into a regular room until discharged home.

Once you leave the hospital, your child will be placed on aspirin therapy for two months.

Last Updated 01/2020

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