Types of Stents Used for the Treatment of PAD and May-Thurner Syndrome

Stents are small expandable tubes, which open narrowed or blocked arteries. Stents can consist of metal mesh, fabric, silicone or a combination of different materials. Each stent has a different use and purpose based on the material and size.

6 Types of Stents Commonly Known to Improve Blood Flow:

Dual Therapy Stent (DTS): These types of stents have coating both inside and outside. This reduces the likelihood of blood clots and inflammation.

Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS): This non-metallic, mesh type of stent consists of a material that absorbs and dissolves gradually over a period of 12 to 24 months. This means you won’t have to worry about receiving a permanent implant, while your artery can resume to their natural function.[2]

Vascular Stents to Improve Blood Flow:

Theses kinds of stents are most commonly for leg (femoral) and brain (carotid) arteries. These types of stents consist of a flexible material that helps them withstand external compression and mechanical forces.[3]

Bio-Engineered Stent (BES):

These antibody-coated stents promote the natural healing of the artery by attracting the circulating Endothelial Progenitor Cells (EPCs). This will speed up the formation of the healthy endothelium cell lining and reduces the risk of further blood clots.[4]

Drug-Eluting Stent (DES):

It consists of a stent platform, pharmacologic agent and drug carrier. These are available in different diameters and lengths. These stents are made of polymer that protects the medicine during the procedure and releases it in a consistent and controlled way in the artery wall after the procedure over a slow period of time, to prevent the hardening of arteries later to improve blood flow and the need for additional treatment.[5]

Bare Metal Stent (BMS):

These first-generation stents are better suited to treat bleeding disorders and for the surgeries not related to your heart, such as hernia and stomach operation.[6]

There are many more types of stents such as glaucoma drainage stents, pancreatic stents, biliary stents and duodenal stents that can be used to treat specific blockages in your arteries.

Reduced Blood Flow Can Be Caused by May-Thurner Syndrome (MTS)

Your body has arteries that supply purified blood to various organs, and veins that bring back blood to the heart for purification. Sometimes, arteries and veins cross over each other, which is not a problem. However, in some patients, this cross-over does cause problems such as reduced blood flow. In them, the right iliac artery, that carries blood to their right leg, squeezes the left iliac vein when they cross-over each other in the pelvis. This results in reduced blood flow to the left leg and increases the risk of a blood clot or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the left leg. Blood-clots are not life-threatening, but they have the potential to break free and travel through the blood-stream. This can be life-threatening as the clot can get clogged in the lung or blood vessels.[7]

Increased Risk of Getting MTS:[8]

  • Female gender
  • Persons with scoliosis in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of the nerves
  • Dehydrated individuals
  • Just had a baby
  • Taking oral birth control
  • Those predisposed to blood clotting
  • DVT Can Lead to Further Complications in The Leg, Such as:
  • Pooling of blood
  • Chronic leg swelling
  • Tenderness of throbbing in the leg
  • Discoloration
  • Leg ulcers

DVT from May-Thurner syndrome can cause venous insufficiency that results in reduced blood flow back to your heart. If you experience any of the above symptoms, consult with a doctor. Your doctor may conduct an ultrasound, CT scan, MRI scan or venogram to diagnose MTS.

Peripheral Artery Disease Causes Reduced Blood Flow

Peripheral artery disease or PAD is a common circulatory problem of the legs described as reduced blood flow due to blocked arteries. This often causes other health problems like leg pain while exercising or walking. The leg pain subsides when at rest, but in advance cases of PAD, the person may experience chronic pain. PAD can be highly limiting for an individual who may find it hard even to walk for some distance due to cramping pain. The person may also feel numbness and insensitivity in the leg, making it hard to notice any injury to the leg. This may delay the healing and cause further damage. The person may also develop foot ulcers that won’t heal easily.

Gangrene from Peripheral Artery Disease

The location of the pain depends upon the location of the blocked artery causing reduced blood flow; the calf is the most common location. Older adults, smokers, and those with diabetes or high cholesterol have an increased risk of developing peripheral artery disease. In severe cases, the leg artery will clog with plaque and the blood supply to the leg tissue may clog as well.[9]

In the absence of regular and fresh blood supply, the leg tissue may die and eventually cause infection to nearby healthy tissue. This condition is known as gangrene and is very serious. Treatment for gangrene often requires amputation of the lower leg or foot. This is to prevent further damage to the leg and healthy tissue due to the spreading infection.

Balloon Stent – A Non-Surgical Treatment for PAD And MTS

Both of these conditions, MTS and PAD, is treatable with a non-surgical stent procedure, known as balloon stenting. At USA Vascular Centers, we provide non-surgical treatment with the help of a procedure known as peripheral angioplasty. The procedure involves the use of a thin flexible tube, known as a catheter. This is threaded through a small incision to the site of blockage with the help of an X-ray camera. Next, a guide-wire goes across the narrowed segment of the artery that will serve as support to position a tiny balloon stent across the blockage.

Thereafter, the doctor threads a catheter with a deflated balloon to the blockage site. Once in place, the balloon will be inflated. The most suitable stent goes in the blockage site to keep the artery open for normal blood flow. After the stent goes in the artery, the balloon deflates and the guide-wire and catheter is ready for removal. The stent will remain firmly in place by pressing against the artery wall. This is to ensure that blood supply remains healthy through the blockage site.

PAD and MTS Treatment at USA Vascular Centers with Balloon Stent Angioplasty

PAD treatment at USA Vascular Centers is  completed within a couple of hours as an outpatient procedure. You are likely to be discharged on the same day of your procedure with some painkiller, infection and blood-thinning medication to be taken at home. You should be able to return to your normal life a week after the treatment.

Get treatment at USA Vascular Centers with the help of angioplasty. Schedule your online consultation or call us at 855.615.2555 to get further details regarding treatment, insurance, or scheduling an appointment.