Arterial procedures are used to diagnose and treat diseases and disorders affecting arteries anywhere in the body. When blood is not flowing correctly through the arteries, it can be painful and harmful to surrounding tissues. These procedures are designed to relieve pain and allow blood to flow more normally.
A bypass graft is a common procedure in which a surgeon creates a pathway for blood to flow around, or bypass, a blockage. This is done by either moving a vein from another part of the body or using another instrument to create an alternate pathway. Click here to learn more about bypass grafts.
A stent is a mesh tube used to treat narrow arteries. The vascular surgeons at Novant Health Vascular Specialists use stents to open blocked arteries and cause them to remain open so blood can flow regularly. A tube called a catheter is normally inserted into an artery in the leg or groin. Then the vascular surgeon guides the stent to the blockage through that tube. This is often done in conjunction with a balloon angioplasty (see below).
When materials like plaque build up on the walls of the arteries, those arteries narrow, which restricts blood flow. In balloon angioplasty, your vascular surgeon inserts a cathether with a balloon instrument into the area that is narrowing. Expanding the balloon compresses the blockages on the artery walls, creating more space for blood to flow. Sometimes a stent is inserted into the newly opened artery so it will stay open (see above). To learn more about angioplasty, click here.
Peripheral artery disease, or peripheral arterial disease, is a problem where blood flow to your limbs is reduced due to narrowed arteries. This can cause leg pain, and can even reduce blood flow to your heart and brain. The doctors at Novant Health Vascular Specialists used a variety of tools to diagnose and evaluate PAD. These include a physical exam to look for signs of decreased blood flow in the limbs, blood pressure tests, ultrasounds and angiograms to trace blood flow (see below). The results of a PAD evaluation will help your doctor determine treatment options.
An angiogram is an X-ray image of the blood vessels used to identify blockages and other problems. Contrast dye that makes blood vessels easy to see on X-rays is injected into the circulatory system. Then a series of X-rays are taken to show how blood moves through the body. For more information about angiograms, click here.
Thrombectomy is surgery to remove a blood clot from a blood vessel. The way the procedure is done depends on the location of the clot. Sometimes this procedure is followed by an angioplasty or stent placement to reopen a narrowing vein.
An endarterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove plaque or other blockages from the inside walls of arteries. Your vascular surgeon will make in incision to access the affected artery and remove the blockage. This is often used to clear blockages in the carotid arteries, the main arteries responsible for delivering blood to your brain.
Evaluation & treatment of peripheral aneurysm
Aneurysms occur when weakened blood vessels bulge abnormally. This often occurs in the aorta, the main artery carrying blood away from the heart. Aneurysms that affect other arteries are called peripheral aneurysms. The vascular surgeons at Novant Health Vascular Specialists have a variety of tools to evaluate peripheral aneurysms, including MRIs, CT scans and ultrasounds. Treatment for these aneurysms depends on the location and severity of the bulge.
After any arterial procedure, the team at Novant Health Vascular Specialists will provide complete post-operative surveillance to ensure your procedure had the intended effect and recovery goes smoothly.