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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
Angioplasty is a minimally invasive interventional radiology procedure in which imaging technologies are used to guide a catheter into an artery or vein to the point where it is narrow or blocked. The vessel is then enlarged with a balloon-tipped catheter.
Angioplasty in children is different than in adults, because children have smaller and more delicate blood vessels. Our interventional radiologists, the doctors who perform the procedure, are highly trained in using the specialized techniques and small catheters necessary for angioplasty in children.
In addition to the interventional radiologist, your child will be treated by a team of anesthesiologists, nurse practitioners, nurses, and technologists who specialize in caring for children who have undergone interventional radiology procedures and treatments.
We perform angioplasties in our suite on the second floor of the hospital, which features three procedure rooms equipped with the latest imaging technology, a recovery area for patients who have received sedation or anesthesia, and examining rooms for outpatient visits.
Angioplasty is used as an alternative to surgery in order to enlarge an abnormally narrowed blood vessel. Examples include the narrowing of the arteries to the kidneys, which may cause high blood pressure, and the constriction of central veins due to use of central venous catheters.
Explain to your child in simple terms why the test is needed and what will happen.
We will give you specific instructions when the procedure is scheduled. In general:
A staff person from the hospital will call you a few days before the procedure. When you arrive:
A nurse or anesthesiologist may start an intravenous (IV) line.
Your child is transferred to the recovery room, where you may join him. A nurse will watch your child closely for four to six hours, and your child will need to lie still without bending the leg during that time.
The interventional radiologist will speak with you after the procedure and explain the findings and results.
Balloon angioplasty is a widely used technique that has been proven safe and effective for treating constricted blood vessels. The doctor will explain potential side effects and complications before you are asked to consent to the procedure.
Your child will be exposed to ionizing radiation (x-rays) during the procedure. We believe that the benefit to your child’s health outweighs the exposure that occurs during the angioplasty. Because children are more sensitive to radiation exposure than adults, we have been leaders in adjusting equipment and procedures to deliver the lowest possible dose to young patients.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”