Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) – balloon dilatation and vascular support (angiology)

Angioplasty is a gentle method of removing constrictions in arteries and thus improving the blood supply in the affected vessel (for example in the leg). We perform this procedure as part of a minimally invasive catheter examination. No anesthesia is required.


Angioplasty can be performed in many arteries of the body. The treatment often occurs in the area of the leg arteries. Vessels in the shoulders, kidneys, intestines, pelvis or neck can also be treated in a similar way. The catheter examination procedure is similar for all affected vessels.

At the beginning of the catheter examination, we numb the puncture site with a local anesthetic. We then insert a so-called sheath, which works like a valve: We can use it to insert metal wires and catheters (= special thin tubes through which a contrast agent can be injected) into the artery without any bleeding from the puncture site. We can now visualize the vasoconstriction directly by injecting contrast medium using X-rays. In contrast to computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the vascular constriction can not only be detected, but also treated immediately during the catheter examination. To do this, we insert a small folded balloon into the constricted artery via the puncture site. We treat the narrowing by inflating the balloon using a high-pressure syringe: The inflated balloon pushes the vascular calcifications deeper into the arterial wall; the constriction is thus eliminated and the blood supply to the vessel is improved. This treatment is called balloon dilatation. To ensure the long-term success of this treatment, it may be necessary to insert a stent into the treated artery. This stent keeps the vessel open. In the following months, a vascular endothelium grows over this stent and protects it from deposits. Once the catheter examination is complete, we remove the sheath, manually press the puncture site for 15 minutes and then apply a pressure bandage. This is necessary so that the puncture site can close securely and there is no post-operative bleeding. As a rule, you will have to lie on your back for six hours after the procedure. If the puncture site is closed after this time, you can ideally go home on the same day. Sometimes it is necessary for you to stay in our clinic overnight for monitoring to ensure a high level of safety. Discharge from hospital is then only possible the following morning.


Before we perform this procedure on you, we will explain the therapy to you in detail. You will receive a written declaration of consent for this purpose. We can only plan the next steps once you have read through and signed these at your leisure.

For the procedure, we need a list of the medication you are currently taking. We also need all information about previous illnesses, hospital stays and allergies. As we use iodine-containing contrast medium during the catheter examination, which is excreted via the kidneys, we need your current laboratory values. You can also have this determined by your general practitioner immediately before your planned inpatient stay.


As a rule, additional blood thinning is required after angioplasty. In addition to Aspirin cardio, we usually prescribe the drug clopidogrel, which reduces the function of the blood platelets and thus ensures the success of the treatment. You will be informed in detail about the duration of the additional blood thinning.

At our clinic, it is important to us not only to provide our patients with successful treatment, but also to see them again in the following months for outpatient follow-up checks. This enables us to ensure the long-term success of the treatment and at the same time detect any new vascular constrictions in good time. You will always receive a written request from us for the check-up appointments. If you develop symptoms prematurely, you can be seen and treated by us at any time.

What you yourself can contribute to long-term success: In addition to taking your prescribed medication regularly, regular exercise is a decisive factor. Even regular walking training of 30 to 45 minutes twice a day leads to improved blood circulation in the legs and ensures long-term mobility. Avoiding vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes or high blood lipids, as well as giving up smoking permanently, protects your vascular system from calcification and blockages.

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