What is Venoplasty and Stenting?
Almost everyone has heard of “balloon angioplasty and stenting of blocked heart arteries.” Venoplasty is the phrase we use when we open up a vein with a balloon.
How Venoplasty is Done
A tube is placed into the major vein of the leg and left in place while the procedure is performed. This allows repeated entry and withdrawal of different devices. A balloon is inserted in a collapsed state, placed across the tight area and then inflated with high pressure. Afterwards a stent is placed to hold the vessel open. The stent is like a tubular wire mesh. It acts like a scaffold to hold the vein open.
The vein access with be covered with a small dressing that can be removed in 24 hours. Bruising can often occur around that area.
There is usually pain from the lower back radiating toward the hip area and sometimes in the lower abdomen for a brief period.
Some people will need strong pain medication and others will not.
Advantages of Venoplasty
- This replaces open surgery that was complicated, risky and was difficult to get reproducibly good outcomes.
- This allows the venous blood to drain from the leg easier. This helps in relieving, pain, swelling, and allowing ulcers to heal with less risk of recurrence.
- This can be done under heavy sedation or you can be “completely out” with our Certified Nurse Anesthetists under Dr Draughn’s supervision.
- We will follow you after the procedure for up to five years with occasional ultrasounds to monitor the flow through the stents.
- We have gone through a rigorous process of accreditation to ensure that we have the highest standards of care equivalent to any hospital or outpatient surgical center. We currently offer this procedure in our Charlotte Office.
Schedule a Consultation
To learn more about Venoplasty and stenting, call 704-544-5245 to schedule a consultation. Vein Specialists of the Carolinas serves Charlotte, Gastonia, and nearby areas.
Limitations of Venoplasty
- The stents are permanent.
- The perfect stent design for veins has not been invented yet. The stents we currently use in veins were designed for other purposes.
- Most patients will require an aspirin a day for life afterwards.
- Some will need to be on a stronger “blood thinner”.
- Although this is exciting groundbreaking technology and care, it is new, and should be done with careful consideration. 5 year outcomes are very impressive, but 10 and 20 year outcomes are not yet known. Usually Dr Draughn will maximize all other treatment options first.
Risks of Venoplasty & Stenting
- The main risk is that blood clots can form in the stents. That’s why we use aspirin or stronger blood thinners for life
- In a few percent of patients, Scar tissue can build up inside the stents and be hard to reopen.
- When both leg pain and swelling are present before stenting, pain usually gets relieved better than swelling.