Venous angioplasty is a non-surgical procedure that can be performed during a venogram to open or bypass narrowed veins and prevent clotting. Venous angioplasty can also allow for placement of a small device called a stent, which supports a vessel or tissue in an open or expanded position to allow bypass of scarred tissue and improve blood flow.
For a venous angioplasty procedure, an X-ray of the veins is performed. Once blocked or narrowed vessel(s) are identified on the venogram, a balloon-tipped catheter is inserted into the blocked vein and guided under fluoroscopic X-ray to the area of concern. The balloon is inflated to correct the blockage and enable blood flow. In some circumstances, a stent is mounted on the balloon-tipped catheter. When the balloon is inflated, the stent is expanded and adheres (permanently) to the walls of the vessel to keep it open.