The Journey of Diagnosing and Treating Renal Artery Stenosis Effectively

Renal artery stenosis (RAS) is a serious kidney-related health problem which involves a narrowed or blocked artery leading to the kidney. When that happens, the kidney tries to compensate for the lack in blood supply by releasing hormones that raise the body’s blood pressure and can also lead to kidney failure over time. RAS is usually caused by atherosclerosis (about 90% of the time), which is the narrowing or clogging and hardening of the arteries. Some rarer cases of RAS can also be caused by diseases like FDM (fibromuscular dysplasia) in which an abnormal growth of cells is responsible for the renal blood vessels and artery walls to become too narrow.

At MIVA Medical, we provide the best solutions for treating renal artery stenosis and minimizing any possible risks or complications that it might lead to.

Understanding Renal Artery Stenosis and Its Symptoms

Checkups for detecting and diagnosing renal artery stenosis are essential. That is primarily because of the fact that RAS has virtually no symptoms until the disease becomes severe and quite dangerous. The main symptom will include a severe reduction of kidney function, as well as an increase or decrease in urination, dizziness, headaches, loss of appetite, swelling in the legs or feet, edema and extreme tiredness.

There are plenty of reasons to get a check up, especially if you’re more at risk for RAS due to the following risk factors:

  • Suffering from diabetes
  • Being obese or having a sedentary lifestyle
  • Having a family history of heart disease or other heart problems
  • High blood pressure or cholesterol.

RAS can be treated with basic diet and blood pressure medicine, if it is detected early. However, if the condition is allowed to progress to a more serious state, then it’s necessary to use a more advanced treatment method such as an arteriogram with an intervention like stent placement. Stent placement is usually performed as an outpatient procedure with moderate sedation at our Missouri center.

Treatments for Renal Artery Stenosis

After the determination of a correct diagnosis and before the application of necessary treatment options, an arteriogram will be necessary to create accurate maps of the arteries using a special type of dye injected into the bloodstream. Arteriograms are performed through the use of X-ray imaging, and they can help determine the layout of the artery and veins, as well as the correct pathway to use in order to access them.

A hollow needle is introduced either into the artery that goes through your wrist or groin, depending on the direction best suited to access the affected artery. The needle threats a wire into the artery along with a one-way valve that allows for temporary access. Through it, methods such as an atherectomy might be used to remove plaque build-up in the artery. Additional treatment interventions also include balloon angioplasty for opening up the narrowing artery, or stent placement as a permanent implant. This implant is basically a metal tube that remains in the artery and keeps it from closing up and, in the case of RAS, allows blood to flow normally and renal function to resume without a problem.

MIVA Medical ensures that these procedures are performed at the highest level of quality and care, as well as using the most effective moderate sedation methods at our own facilities. The time required for recovery will usually be very short, and although a closing device will be necessary following the procedure, any bruising or soreness that might occur will be minimal.