Treatment for renovascular hypertension at South Florida Vascular Associates typically includes a simultaneous angiogram and angioplasty to diagnose and treat a blocked artery in the kidney.
Renal (Kidney) Angiography
A renal angiography is an exam of the arteries and veins in the kidneys to diagnose blockages and other blood vessel problems. An interventional radiologist performs this procedure, also called an angiogram or venogram, on an outpatient basis.
During the angiogram, the doctor inserts a thin tube (catheter) into the artery through a small incision in the skin. A substance called a contrast agent (X-ray dye) is injected to make the blood vessels visible on the X-ray.
One of the most common reasons for angiography is to see if there is a blockage or narrowing in a blood vessel that may interfere with the normal flow of blood through the body. In many cases, the interventional radiologist can treat a blocked blood vessel without surgery at the same time the angiogram is performed using techniques called angioplasty and thrombolysis.
Renal Artery Balloon Angioplasty and Stent Placement
Renal angioplasty is a technique for opening up narrowed blood vessels in the kidneys. A very small balloon attached to a thin tube (catheter) is inserted into a blood vessel through a small nick in the skin. The catheter is threaded under X-ray guidance to the site of the narrowed artery. The balloon is inflated to open the artery. Sometimes, a small metal scaffold called a stent is also inserted to hold the blood vessel open. Angioplasty and stents often replace bypass graft surgery in treating artery problems.
Having a blocked renal artery can lead to serious problems, and it is wise to seek the attention of a medical professional without delay. A trained vascular specialist can provide the proper diagnosis and treatment for many kinds of artery problems, including renal angiography and angioplasty.