A vascular surgeon is trained to diagnose and manage diseases that affect all the parts of your vascular system except those that affect your heart and brain. Surgery that focuses on diseases of your vascular system (your arteries and veins) is vascular surgery. Vascular surgery could refer to surgery of your aorta, carotid arteries, or lower extremities. Surgeries that focus on veins are also included under the vascular surgery umbrella. If you have any of the following indications or diseases, vascular surgery may be a good option for you:
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
This occurs when the enlargement of your abdominal aorta is more than 50% larger than the normal diameter it should have. These come with no symptoms except when they have ruptured, besides occasional abdominal, back, or leg pain. This disease can best be prevented by not smoking, treating high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, and not being overweight. You can treat an abdominal aortic aneurysm with these surgeries:
Endovascular Aneurysm Repair
This involves inserting a graft within your aneurysm through small groin incisions and X-rays to guide the graft into place. This type of repair is safer than traditional open surgery, but there is a chance you may have to go through a further operation later to refine the original procedure.
Open Aortic Surgery
This procedure is more invasive, and involves your surgeon making a five or six inch cut in the middle of your belly. Then your aneurysm will be replaced with a long tube of synthetic cloth, which is sewn in with stitches.
The inner surface of your carotid artery begins narrowing or constricting and is usually caused by atherosclerosis, a build-up of plaque in your arteries or veins. Your carotid artery is very large; you can feel its pulse on both sides of your neck, under your jaw. At your throat, it forks into your internal and external carotid arteries. This fork is a common site for this buildup. You can treat carotid stenosis with the following surgeries:
This procedure reduces your risk of stroke by reducing the narrowing in your carotid artery. A surgeon will open up your carotid artery and clean all the plaque out of it.
In this surgery, a stent is inserted into your carotid artery to keep the passageway open and free from blockages. A stent is a metal or plastic tube. This is usually used to treat the narrowing of the carotid artery in patients who are considered to be too high-risk to operate one.
These are veins that become enlarged and twisted. Although the term “varicose vein” commonly refers to veins appearing on your legs, they can occur anywhere on your body. Healthy veins have pairs of valves that prevent your blood from flowing backward. The muscles in your legs pump your veins and make them return blood up to your heart. Varicose veins occur when the leaflets no longer meet properly, and the valves don’t work. They are unsightly, but can also be quite painful, leading to leg swelling, skin thickening, ulceration, and venous eczema. The signs of varicose veins may be internal, like aching, heavy-feeling legs. Or you may have visual symptoms like dryness, redness, spider veins, and ankle swelling. There are four surgical procedures available to treat varicose veins:
The removal of the varicose veins through multiple small incisions in the skin that lays over the varicose veins. You will be marked and then positioned on an operating table, and the area will be numbed with local anesthesia. Incisions are made, and your problematic veins are removed and sealed.
Endovenous Laser Treatment
A minimally invasive ultrasound-guided technique that involves inserting an optical fiber (a small flexible, transparent tube made of plastic or silica slightly thicker than a human hair) into your veins that need treatment. The doctor will shine infrared light into the interior of your vein, causing it to contract. The optical fiber is slowly withdrawn.
Medicine is injected into the vessels that make them shrink.
The removal of a vein. The vein (usually your great saphenous vein) is pulled out from under your skin using minimal incisions using a special metal or plastic wire that is inserted into the vein.
Peripheral Arterial Occlusive Disease
A narrowing of the arteries other than those that supply blood to the heart or the brain. 50% of cases are without symptoms. The main risk factors are smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Atherosclerosis is the underlying mechanism behind this disease. The surgeries used to treat it are:
A procedure that widens your narrowed and obstructed arteries or veins. A balloon catheter is used to fore the expansion of the narrow passage created by the blockages in your blood vessels, opening them for improved flow.
A minimally invasive surgery technique to remove plaque buildup in your blood vessels by cutting plaque from the wall of your affected artery.
A surgical procedure that separates plaque from your arterial wall before removing it.
A procedure that involves the insertion of a vascular graft that will redirect blood flow. Your vein is usually the graft material, but other synthetic materials, arteries and even a different person’s vein can be used.
There are many types of vascular treatments and surgeries. Depending on the type and severity of your vascular issues, your surgical needs will vary. Talking to a vascular specialist is the first step you can take toward dealing with your specific vascular issues.
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A top-notch, experienced Vascular Surgeons will have all the tools and training needed to get to the root of your problem and significantly improve your vascular symptoms.
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