Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
195 Little Albany Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681
Non-cardiac percutaneous transluminal angioplasty
A surgeon will perform a non-cardiac percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, or NCPTA, to restore blood flow in an artery blocked by atherosclerotic plaque.
Fatty deposits, called atherosclerotic plaques, can build up inside your arteries, narrowing the passageway and interfering with blood flow.
This arterial blockage is called stenosis.
Insufficient blood flow to a tissue generally causes pain.
A non-cardiac percutaneous transluminal angioplasty is only done when your condition has not responded to less invasive treatment options, such as lifestyle changes and medications.
To begin the procedure, you will be placed on a table equipped with a fluoroscope.
A fluoroscope is capable of taking x-ray images of many parts of the body from multiple angles.
Your doctor will numb your skin around where the catheter is to be inserted.
Since the arteries of the leg are most easily accessed, the femoral artery in the groin serves as the insertion site in most cases.
Your doctor will initially gain access to the artery by inserting a hollow needle through which the balloon-tipped catheter is passed.
Watching on the fluoroscopy screen, your doctor will gently advance the catheter until it is positioned in the artery being treated and inject a special dye.
This dye allows the fluoroscope to take x-ray images, called angiograms, which let your doctor identify the exact location of the blockages.
Next, your doctor will move the catheter until the deflated balloon at its tip is positioned at the site of the stenosis.
Then, by rapidly inflating and deflating the balloon, your doctor will gently push the plaque and vessel wall out, partially reestablishing blood flow.
This procedure may be repeated for any additional blockages.
In some cases, your doctor may place a stent, which is a wire mesh that remains in the artery to hold it open.
To perform this procedure, your doctor will place a collapsed stent over the deflated balloon on the tip of the catheter.
When the balloon is inflated, the stent expands and locks into place.
At the end of the procedure, your doctor will remove the catheter through the original insertion site.
After your procedure, a pressure bandage will be applied to the catheter insertion site and you will be asked to lie still to prevent bleeding.
You will be carefully monitored in the recovery area to be sure blood flow through the affected artery is maintained.
Most patients are discharged the same day as their procedure, but some remain in the hospital 1–2 days for observation.