Vascular surgery deals with the treatment of the various medical disorders and diseases that affect your vascular system, which is composed of the vast network of arteries and veins in the body. This treatment method uses various minimally invasive catheter surgery procedures as well as reconstrive vascular surgery.
Vascular surgery covers all types of surgery performed on the aorta, lower extremities, carotid arteries and the iliac, tibial and femoral arteries. This surgical subspecialty also deals with surgery of the veins for conditions such as varicose veins as well as in transplant surgery.
Vascular surgery procedures
There are different vascular surgery techniques and methods for the large number of vascular disorders and diseases.
These are some of the commonly performed vascular surgeries:
- Balloon Angioplasty –This vascular surgery type is useful in treating cardiac (heart) blockages in the major arteries connecting the heart. This surgery is now performed using minimally invasive surgical technique in which the surgeon will use a deflated surgical balloon attached to the end of the catheter to be inserted in a major artery of the groin region. This balloon-carrying catheter is then guided from here to the blockage in the artery near the heart. After the balloon is placed in the desired position in the narrow point in the artery the surgeon will inflate and deflate this balloon slowly until the narrowed artery is widened enough to allow normal blood flow.
- Endovascular Aneurysm Repair – This is another type of endovascular (inter-vascular) surgical treatment method for treating an abdominal aortic aneurysm. This surgery requires accessing the femoral arteries with incisions on the skin above the point of aneurysm. This is a minimally invasive surgical method involving the use of thin catheters (small, hollow surgical tubes) that are inserted in the incisions. These catheters are used as passage for inserting the required special miniaturized surgical tools. This surgery is performed under the guidance of an x-ray fluoroscopy which is helpful in guiding the catheters to the desired positions.
The surgeon will deploy a stent graft in the affected artery so as to keep the artery unblocked.
- Carotid Endarterectomy –This vascular surgical procedure is useful in treating carotid artery diseases which are caused when waxy and fatty deposits form in the inside of the carotid artery. The carotid arteries are one of the major blood vessels in the body and are located on either sides of the neck.
Atherosclerosis (buildup of plaque) inside the arteries may disrupt the blood flow to the brain and may result in a stroke, or brain damage. The carotid endarterectomy is performed under general anesthesia to the patient and requires incisions along the front of the neck to access the carotid arteries. The surgeon will then make another incision on the side of the carotid arteries to remove the plaque forming and blocking the artery.
The surgeon will then close the incision in the carotid arteries using a vein graft or an artificial patching material.
Other forms of vascular surgeries and the medical disorders and diseases that they are used to treat are:
- Endovascular repair or open repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm, thoracic aortic aneurysm and thoracoabdominal aneurysms which include branched stent grafts and fenestrated stent grafts.
- Open surgical construction and stenting in vascular regions.
- Carotid artery stenting
- Angioplasty, stenting and other endovascular surgical intervention methods.
- Radiofrequency ablation and endovenous laser therapy treatment for venous ulcers and varicose veins.
- Hemodialysis access
Vascular surgery is one of the most vital and important subspecialty of surgery as it is used to treat the many medical disorders and diseases that affect the large network of blood vessels, made of big and small veins and arteries.