PTA of the carotid arteries is an endovascular treatment in patients with significant narrowing of the carotid blood vessels (large arteries of the neck that bring blood to the brain).

Endovascular treatment of these arteries is resorted to when surgical treatment is not possible due to the specific characteristics of the patient (large number of concomitant diseases, unfavorable anatomical characteristics of blood vessels, previous radiation therapy at the neck level, repeated narrowing after surgery).

The procedure is performed under local anesthesia by accessing the narrowing through the arteries of the legs, while the control is performed using X – rays in the angio room and injecting iodine contrast agent. Agioplasty represents the expansion of the wall of a narrowed blood vessel using a specially designed metal tube – stent.

After the stent is implanted, the balloon is placed inside the lumen of the blood vessel and inside the stent and inflated, thus pushing the plaque against the wall of the artery while expanding its lumen, which causes the stent to open until it reaches its optimum diameter.

During the procedure, special mesh baskets – filters are used inside the blood vessels, in order to prevent unwanted complications.

At the end of the procedure, manual compression or a special type of artery closure device are used to close the access point.

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Author: Vladimir Kovačević, Radiologist