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Peripheral Vascular Ablation

The vascular specialists at UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute use minimally invasive techniques, including ablation, to treat blocked arteries caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Why choose UPMC in Central Pa. for peripheral vascular ablation?

Our vascular specialists are at the forefront of treatment options for PAD. We are among the most experienced in the region at diagnosing and treating blockages of the peripheral arteries using minimally invasive catheter-based techniques.

In addition to working as part of a multidisciplinary team to provide you with comprehensive vascular and PAD care, our specialists are also involved in clinical trials and offer the latest treatment options. We perform hundreds of interventional vascular procedures each year in our state-of-the-art catheterization labs.

What is PAD?

PAD restricts the flow of blood through the vessels beyond your heart. Circulation disorders in these vessels, which carry oxygen and other nutrients to vital organs and tissues, are most often caused by atherosclerosis (also called hardening of the arteries), a progressive disease caused when plaque (composed of fat, cholesterol, and other substances) is deposited on the inner wall of your artery.

Over time, the inside of your artery will narrow (called stenosis), and blood flow through your artery is reduced or stopped. Plaque commonly forms in the iliac arteries in your lower abdomen and the femoral and popliteal arteries in your legs.

What is peripheral vascular ablation?

Peripheral vascular ablation uses a laser to clear, or ablate, blockages in your peripheral arteries and improve blood flow. Vascular ablation is minimally invasive and performed by threading a laser catheter into your artery through a small incision, usually in your groin.

What happens during peripheral vascular ablation?

You will be positioned on a table and will be under local anesthesia. A small incision will be made in your groin or arm to insert the catheter. The catheter will be advanced into your peripheral artery.

After the laser catheter is in place, it will emit ultraviolet light to remove the blockage by evaporating the plaque. Ultraviolet light is much cooler than infrared lasers, so it reduces the risk of damage to your surrounding tissue.

If you have multiple blockages, the laser catheter will be moved from blockage to blockage. After all the blockages are ablated, the catheter will be removed and x-ray contrast dye will be injected into your blood vessel, allowing your doctor to evaluate the results of the procedure.

Your doctor may also perform a procedure called balloon angioplasty to make sure the blockages in your arteries are completely cleared. During balloon angioplasty, your doctor will insert a special catheter with a balloon at the tip into your artery. When the catheter is in position, your doctor will inflate the balloon and push any remaining plaque aside to restore blood flow in your artery.

What can I expect after peripheral vascular ablation?

When the procedure is completed, you will be moved to recovery for observation and to address any issues you may have with pain. You will stay in the hospital for 1-2 days after the procedure.

How long does it take to recover after peripheral vascular ablation?

You should ask your doctor when you can return to work and resume normal activities. It is very important that you see your doctor for follow-up visits as recommended.


Need more information?

Phone: 717-731-0101

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Read more about a new clinical trial for patients with peripheral artery disease.


UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at UPMC Outpatient Center
1251 East Main Street
Suite 3
Annville, PA 17003

Adult Cardiology: 717-731-0101
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
360 Alexander Spring Road
Carlisle, PA 17013

Adult Cardiology: 717-243-6557
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200
Fax: 717-243-0102

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
2020 Technology Parkway
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Adult Cardiology: 717-731-0101
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200
Fax: 717-731-8359

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Medical Office Building 2
2005 Technology Parkway
Suite 300
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Main Number: 717-988-5864
Fax: 717-231-8568

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
900 Century Drive
Suite 100
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

Phone: 717-591-3660 or 800-248-0257
Fax: 717-591-3661

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Medical Professional Center of Newport
300 Bretz Court
Newport, PA 17074

Phone: 717-567-7246 or 800-248-0257
Fax: 717-567-2621

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at Brady Building
205 South Front Street
4th floor
Harrisburg, PA 17104

Phone: 717-231-8555
Fax: 717-231-8568

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
2808 Old Post Road
Harrisburg, PA 17110

Adult Cardiology: 717-920-4400
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200
Fax: 717-920-4401

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
12 Saint Paul Drive
Suite 205
Chambersburg, PA 17201

Adult Cardiology: 717-217-6881
Pediatric Cardiology: 717-761-0200
Fax: 717-217-6889

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
Located at UPMC Outpatient Center
2201 Brunswick Drive
Hanover, PA 17331

Phone: 717-637-1738
Fax: 717-646-7430 

UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute
233 College Avenue
Suite 203
Lancaster, PA 17603

Phone: 717-988-5864

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