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Leg: PVD in the Renal Arteries


There are four basic treatment options for patients with renal artery stenosis.

Medical Management

Medicine can be prescribed to control your blood pressure, usually requiring the use of two to three medications.

Renal Artery Bypass Surgery

A man-made graft or one of your own veins will be used to act as a detour to create new channels to carry blood to the kidneys.

Renal Artery Balloon Angioplasty

This procedure uses a catheter (small tube) with a small balloon on the end (dilatation catheter) to open the narrowed renal artery by compressing the plaque against the vessel wall. This process reduces the narrowing until it no longer interferes with blood flow. The balloon is deflated and removed from the artery. After the angioplasty, there is a chance that narrowing will recur within six months to one year.

Renal Artery Stents

A stent is a metallic wire mesh tube that is placed into a narrowed or blocked artery. The size of a stent used in the artery of a kidney is about 15mm (3/4 inch) in length and 6mm (1/4 inch) in diameter when fully expanded in the artery. When expanded, the stent acts as a brace to keep the artery open, restoring normal blood flow. Over several weeks, the healthy inner lining of the artery will grow over the stent, permanently incorporating it into the vessel. A stent is often placed if the balloon angioplasty procedure did not provide adequate results.

The angioplasty results may be considered unsuccessful based on any of the following:

  • The remaining blockage (stenosis) in the renal artery is 50% or more.
  • The renal artery blood pressure is still abnormally high as a result of the remaining blockage (stenosis).
  • Tearing of the blood vessel due to the angioplasty procedure affecting renal artery blood flow to the kidneys.

Your doctor will explain the risks and benefits of your treatment options and answer any questions you or your family may have.