Venous angioplasty is a specialized procedure designed to treat vein blockages. Veins that have narrowed or blocked have the potential to cause severe pain and swelling. Stents may be used in conjunction with angioplasty in order to widen the vein and keep it open so that blood may flow freely. During the procedure, a specially trained radiologist inserts a guided wire through a needle and into the blood vessel. Once positioned correctly, the needle is replaced with a fine plastic tube called a catheter that opens up the problem area to allow for improved blood flow. This, in turn, pushes the built-up plaque against the wall of the artery. A stent is sometimes inserted to ensure that the blood vessel is kept open long after the procedure.
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