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Intravascular Lithotripsy (IVL)

Intravascular lithotripsy, or IVL, is an innovative, minimally invasive procedure done before stent placement to open arteries with fatty blockages. IVL allows your doctor to safely break down plaque and other arterial blockages through the use of sonic pressure waves, expanding the artery and restoring proper blood flow. This technique is recommended when the blockage in a patient’s arteries is too severe to be cleared with a typical stent procedure.

Conditions Treated

Intravascular lithotripsy is primarily used to treat conditions related to arterial blockages.

Procedure Overview

IVL is implemented before placing a stent to open arteries that have been blocked by fatty deposits. Sometimes, a typical stent placement procedure may not be able to properly open the targeted artery. The sonic pressure waves generated by IVL can break down blockages in a few pulses, reducing the risk of complications and minimizing damage to the patient’s artery walls. The IVL procedure is similar to that of other angioplasty and stent placement procedures, with the added step of lithotripsy activation:

  • Preparation

    Before your procedure, your doctor will explain the steps of the procedure, potential outcomes, and any necessary preparations, like discontinuing specific medication or fasting. IVL is performed under local anesthesia to ensure your comfort.

  • Catheter placement & balloon inflation

    Using advanced imaging techniques, a specialized catheter is guided to the site of the blockage and a balloon is inflated to low pressure.

  • Lithotripsy activation

    Once in position, sonic pressure waves are then activated using lithotripsy to break down the blockage in the artery.

  • Balloon expansion

    After the blockage has been cleared, the balloon may be expanded to allow for stent placement.

  • Closure

    The balloon and catheter are removed once the stent is properly placed and blood flow restored. The insertion site is typically closed with a small bandage or sutures.


Due to the minimally invasive nature of IVL, the procedure is generally well-tolerated. Local anesthesia is used to manage any potential pain.

The length of the procedure varies depending on the complexity of the case but typically lasts around 30 to 60 minutes.

While IVL is considered safe, patients may experience minor bruising or swelling at the catheter incision site. Dr. Tawfik will review any potential side effects or specific risks before your procedure.

Schedule a Consultation

Intravascular lithotripsy is a breakthrough approach used by our vein specialists at Premier Vein and Vascular. To learn more about the procedure and find out if you are a candidate, schedule a consultation at Premier Vein and Vascular today.

Schedule a Consultation


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    479 County Rd 520
    Suite A203
    Marlboro Township, NJ 07746

Ocean Township

Office Hours

9AM-7PM   Tue & Wed

9AM-5PM   Mon, Thurs & Fri

Closed   Sat & Sun


Office Hours

9AM-7PM   Tue & Wed

9AM-5PM   Mon, Thurs & Fri

Closed   Sat & Sun