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Peripheral Intravascular Lithotripsy

Also known as: Intravascular Lithotripsy (IVL), Shockwave IVL, Shockwave

Duration: About 45 minutes to an hour

Intravascular lithotripsy is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to treat peripheral arterial disease (PAD) (or coronary artery disease (CAD)) by passing a series of sonic pressure waves/shock waves through clogged arteries in order to improve blood flow under the guidance of x-ray imaging.

In peripheral intravascular lithotripsy, the shock waves are passed through the peripheral arteries of the heart.


  • To treat coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • To treat peripheral artery disease (PAD)

Preparing for the procedure: 

pdf-downloadDownload Pre Procedure Instructions

How it is performed: 

  • Firstly, a cardiac catheterization is performed to check for any blocks in the peripheral arteries of the heart. A catheter (a thin, long tube) is placed in either your legs or groin and is monitored by an x-ray camera until it reaches the targeted artery.
  • A contrast dye is then infused so that the arteries can be seen. 
  • Once the waves are passed, tiny fractures are created in the plaque (calcium and fat build-up) that is surrounding the artery walls.
  • The plaque is broken into small pieces and a stent is usually placed in the artery to improve blood flow.

After the procedure: 

pdf-downloadDownload Post Procedure Instructions