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In diabetic patients, reduced blood flow to the legs due to conditions like peripheral artery disease (PAD) can exacerbate diabetic foot ulcers. Angioplasty is a treatment that involves the widening of narrowed or blocked arteries using a balloon-like device, and aims to restore blood flow to the affected area. By addressing circulation issues, angioplasty can promote healing of foot ulcers, mitigate complications, and enhance overall foot health in diabetic individuals.


What you should know about Angioplasty?

What Is An Angioplasty?

Angioplasty is a minimally invasive medical procedure used to improve blood flow in narrowed or blocked arteries. For diabetic foot ulcers, angioplasty plays a role in addressing peripheral artery disease (PAD), a common complication of diabetes that restricts blood flow to the legs and feet. 


During angioplasty, a thin catheter with a deflated balloon at its tip is inserted into the affected artery. Once in place, the balloon is inflated to compress the plaque buildup and widen the artery, restoring proper blood flow to the foot. 


This improved circulation facilitates wound healing, reduces the risk of infection, and helps alleviate symptoms associated with diabetic foot ulcers. Overall, angioplasty serves as an effective intervention to enhance vascular health and promote healing in diabetic patients with foot ulcers.

When Is An Angioplasty Necessary?

When considering the necessity of angioplasty for diabetic foot ulcers, certain symptoms serve as indicators. These include:

  • Persistent pain

  • Non-healing ulcers

  • Skin discolouration

  • Signs of tissue damage or gangrene


Initially, conservative treatments like medication, wound care, and lifestyle modifications are attempted to enhance blood flow and facilitate wound healing. However, if these measures prove ineffective or if the condition deteriorates despite conservative approaches, angioplasty may be recommended as a more definitive treatment option.

Benefits Of An Angioplasty

Angioplasty can alleviate symptoms and enhance the healing process of foot ulcers in diabetic patients. Other benefits include:


Improved Blood Flow: Angioplasty can significantly enhance blood flow to the affected areas of the foot by opening up blocked or narrowed arteries. This improved circulation is crucial for the healing of foot ulcers, as it ensures that more oxygen and nutrients reach the wound, promoting faster and more effective healing.


Reduced Risk of Amputation: By effectively addressing the underlying issue of poor blood circulation, angioplasty can decrease the likelihood of severe complications that could lead to the need for amputation. Enhanced blood flow helps in the healing of ulcers and prevents the progression of infections or tissue death that might necessitate limb removal.


Decreased Wound Healing Time: With better blood flow, diabetic foot ulcers can heal more quickly. This reduces the duration during which patients are at risk of infection and other complications associated with open wounds. Faster healing can also lead to a quicker return to daily activities and improved quality of life for patients.


Prevention of Complications: By improving blood circulation in the feet, angioplasty helps to prevent potential complications associated with diabetic foot ulcers, such as infections that can become severe and lead to more significant health issues. Early intervention with angioplasty can halt the progression of complications, reducing the overall burden of the condition on the patient's health.

What To Expect for an Angioplasty

Understand how the procedure is done and the expectations surrounding an angioplasty for informed preparation.


Before an Angioplasty:

  • Your doctor will measure the level of your peripheral arterial disease, review your medical history, and perform a thorough physical examination of the affected foot.

  • Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and managing your diet and weight, may be recommended.


Preparing for the Procedure:

  • Your doctor will set a date for the procedure, and you may need to stop certain medications, especially blood thinners, a few days beforehand.


During Angioplasty:

  • You will receive a local anaesthetic, and an X-ray dye will be injected to visualise the arteries.

  • Angioplasty is typically a same-day procedure. A wire is inserted into the affected artery, followed by inflating a balloon to create space. A stent may also be placed to ensure the artery stays open.



  • Depending on your post-operative condition, you may return home the same day or spend a night in the hospital.


Angioplasty Recovery

Following angioplasty, the recovery period typically spans a few days to a week, although individual recovery times may vary. During this time, it's essential to prioritise rest and avoid strenuous activities to allow the body to heal effectively. 


Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle by adhering to prescribed medications, adopting a nutritious diet, and refraining from smoking can promote smoother recovery at home.

Complications of an Angioplasty

Thousands of angioplasties are performed successfully but as with all procedures, an angioplasty can come with its own risks. These include:


Bleeding at the Catheter Insertion Site: Excessive bleeding or bruising where the catheter was inserted may require medical attention.


Blood Vessel Damage: The blood vessels may be damaged during the procedure, which could necessitate further treatment.


Infection: The catheter insertion site can become infected, requiring prompt medical intervention.


Restenosis: The artery could narrow again after the procedure, potentially requiring additional interventions.


Dr Desmond Ooi: Angioplasty Treatment for Diabetic Foot Wounds in Singapore

Dr. Desmond Ooi offers angioplasty as a treatment for diabetic foot wounds in his clinic. With his expertise and dedication, Dr Ooi ensures personalised care and support for each patient, addressing their unique needs throughout the healing process. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Desmond Ooi for comprehensive care for diabetic foot wounds.

debridement treatment and comprehensive care.

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