Over forty years ago, Dr. Saroj Tampira followed his heart and embarked upon a career journey that finally led him to the Village Heart and Vein Center. His arrival completed the vision of the Center founder Dr. Georg Couturier to provide total care for patients with heart and/or vascular diseases. Dr. Tampira’s journey literally began with a medical degree earned at Madihol University—the number one university in Thailand. Internship and residency at the University of Louisville Hospital followed. 

In 1978 he completed a Fellowship with Tulane University in New Orleans. His specialty is interventional cardiology—clearing and repairing blocked veins and arteries—and he is one of a very select group of talented cardiologists skilled enough to pursue blockages below the knee in individuals who need help. Today, many patients and procedures later, all of us in Central Florida are fortunate indeed that his heart and his journey brought him here.

Peripheral Angiograms

An angiogram is a test used to diagnose problems with arteries and veins. Many people are familiar with a coronary angiogram, a test that focuses on the blood vessels feeding the heart. In a peripheral angiogram, a doctor checks for problems in one or more of the arteries that supply blood to the legs. An angiogram uses real-time image guidance (fluoroscopy) and provides detailed information to aid in planning the best treatment.


In the United States, peripheral artery disease (PAD) is on the rise due to an epidemic increase in metabolic diseases like diabetes, aging population, and tobacco use. Until recently, accepted management strategies for treatment of symptomatic lower extremity PAD were limited to balloon angioplasty and self-expanding nitinol stents. Treatment with atherectomy for symptoms of lower extremity disease has proven to be effective in re-establishing blood flow with minimal vessel trauma and may serve as an alternative to a stent-first approach. 

What is an atherectomy? An atherectomy is a method used to remove plaque from the blood vessels. Because it cleans out the “drainage pipes” of the body, it’s sometimes referred to as the “Roto-rooter” procedure. This procedure is performed in an outpatient setting, generally in the catheterization, or “cath” laboratory, by a trained vascular surgeon.

Peripheral Angioplasty
with Stenting

When a person develops peripheral artery disease (PAD), the extremities, usually the legs, don't receive enough blood flow to keep up with the body’s needs. This causes symptoms, most notably leg pain when walking (intermittent claudication).

Peripheral angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure. The procedure is performed in a cardiovascular catheterization laboratory under local anesthesia. An IV inserted into the arm or hand provides medication to make the procedure as comfortable as possible. A catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in the upper thigh (groin). Using high-resolution fluoroscopic (X-ray) video and film equipment, the catheter is guided through to the peripheral artery being treated. Once the catheter is in place the balloon is inflated and the narrowed peripheral artery is stretched open. The fatty plaque or blockage is pressed against the peripheral artery walls enlarging the diameter of the peripheral artery. After the blocked area of the peripheral artery is widened, the balloon is deflated and removed. Blood flowing through the peripheral artery is increased, supplying blood to the heart.

Peripheral stents are often implanted in conjunction with balloon angioplasty. Peripheral stent implants help an artery stay open, so blood can flow through the blocked or clogged artery. The stent props open the artery and remains permanently in place. The stent is passed through the catheter and implanted in the peripheral artery.