September 29, 2021

Best Intracranial Angioplasty Procedure

Intracranial stenosis is the narrowing of the artery supplying your brain inside your skull. A plaque buildup, also known as atherosclerosis, reduces blood flow to a part of the brain. If untreated, it may result in stroke or even death.

Intracranial angioplasty aids in widening the blood vessels, restoring the blood flow to your brain cells.

Let’s understand more about this procedure!

Intracranial Angioplasty

Before the procedure, you will be put intubated and put under general anesthesia.

Once under the effect of the anesthesia, the doctor will puncture your blood vessel, usually in the groin (femoral artery). They will introduce a sheath in the blood vessel through which a catheter can be introduced in the artery.

The interventional neuroradiologist will advance this catheter in the aorta. Once it reaches the heart, your doctor will introduce a dye into the blood vessels supplying your brain to see the narrowed area.

A series of X-rays will be taken to locate the narrowed intracranial artery. Once it is located, the doctor will introduce the catheter to the location, and a balloon is inflated to open the blocked blood vessel. In some cases, the doctor may also decide to place a stent in the blood vessel before inflating the balloon.

Once the artery is adequately opened, your doctor will remove the catheter. The incision may be closed with sutures or collagen.

After the procedure

You may be advised to lie down several hours after the procedure to avoid bleeding at the site of catheter insertion. In most cases, you may be discharged from the hospital within 48 hours. The doctor may advise limiting physical activity and lifting heavyweight for a few hours after the procedure.


In most people, intracranial angioplasty significantly improved flood flow through the previously blocked blood vessel, reducing the risk of stroke.


Some common risks involved with the procedure are:

  • Damage to the blood vessel or clot formation as the site of insertion
  • Bleeding at the site of insertion
  • Blood clot formation within the blood vessel
  • Rupture of the vessel being dilated
  • Infection at the site of incision

Consult your doctor immediately if you have the following side effects:

  • Numbness on one side of the body
  • Trouble speaking or walking
  • Weakness on one side of the body
  • Sudden severe headache
  • Groin swelling/pain

While the incidence of these side effects is rare, the doctor will weigh the benefits and the risk before advising the procedure. They will recommend the procedure only when the benefits outweigh the risks.