Narrowing (blockage) of the renal arteries is an important cause of hypertension and kidney failure. It is often caused by atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), but fibromuscular dysplasia and other lesions can also cause narrowing.

While traditional surgical methods (renal artery bypass) are sometimes still used to treat this condition, a newer, less invasive procedure — called renal artery stenting — has become the most common treatment at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. Renal artery stenting is done by threading a tiny, balloon-tipped catheter through a small puncture in the groin to the site of the arterial narrowing. The balloon is expanded to enlarge the artery, and a stent — a small, balloon-expandable metal tube or “scaffold” — is put in place to optimize the angioplasty result and minimize recurrences.

At MedStar Union Memorial, our specialists have a vast amount of experience with this procedure, allowing the majority of our patients to have their renal artery blockage treated without the need for open surgery.

What are the advantages of minimally invasive renal artery stenting?

  • Avoidance of major, difficult and risky surgery
  • Fewer complications such as bleeding and infection
  • Shorter hospital stay and overall recovery time
  • Higher success rate and prevention of future blockages

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