Peripheral artery disease, also referred to as PAD, happens when arteries in the legs become narrowed by fatty deposits. This build-up, also known as plaque, causes the arteries to harden and narrow, a process called atherosclerosis. Poor blood circulation is the result.
Although PAD occurs most often in arteries in the legs it may also affect other arteries carrying blood outside the heart such as the aorta, the brain, the arms, the kidneys and the stomach. Like other related heart diseases, PAD may be improved with lifestyle changes, medications, or surgery procedures.
Vascular procedures include aortic aneurysm procedures, carotid artery procedures, dialysis, first rib resection, peripheral artery procedures, thrombolysis and varicose vein procedures.
Surgical treatment options for aortic aneurysms — a bulge in the section of the aorta, the body's main artery — include a minimally invasive procedure known as elective endograft repair, as well as elective open aortic aneurysm repair. Vascular surgeons on the medical staff at Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital also perform an innovative new graft procedure, the fenestrated aortic stent graft, and offer thoracic endovascular aortic repair (also referred to EVAR, TEVAR, or TA-EVAR) to realign blood flow away from the aneurysm blockage.
Carotid artery surgery is performed to open any blockages in blood flow to the carotid artery in a patient’s neck. These surgical procedures include carotid endarterectomy, carotid stenting, and transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR).
Vascular disease can lead to a condition called central venous stenosis, a narrowing of veins leading to the heart particularly troublesome for patients undergoing kidney dialysis. Vascular surgeons on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital – Dallas use a specialized product called a hemodialysis access graft, implanting this device to reduce the risk of vascular access related infections for dialysis patients. Another vascular graft for kidney dialysis is also a surgical option available to hemodialysis patients to help reduce graft thrombosis.
The enclosed space between the base of the neck and the armpit, the thoracic outlet, is where nerves and blood vessels of the arm must pass, a critical part of the body’s circulatory system. When this area becomes constricted it can lead to pain in a patient’s shoulder, arm or hand, a condition referred to as thoracic outlet syndrome. Commonly treated by physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or short courses of steroids to resolve symptoms, if these treatment options are unsuccessful a surgical procedure known as first rib resection may be needed to create more room for blood vessels and nerves.
The vascular surgeons on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital – Dallas treat patients when a blocked artery affects blood supply to the arms, hands and legs, a type of peripheral artery disease. Peripheral artery surgery procedures include extremity stenting, redirecting blood supply around an obstructed artery, and extremity bypass surgery, grafting a vein from another part of the body and connecting it to the blocked artery above and below the obstruction.
When deep vein thrombosis limits blood flow to the arms or legs — a blood clot — vascular surgeons on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital – Dallas perform two procedures, percutaneous mechanical thrombectomy and surgical venous thrombectomy, inserting a guide wire in the affected vein to open the blocked area and administering drugs through the catheter to dissolve clot fragments.
Varicose leg veins are another relatively common condition associated with peripheral artery disease. Treatment options include minimally invasive ablation, an outpatient surgical procedure to destroy varicose veins with bursts of radiofrequency or laser energy; vein stripping surgery to remove large varicose veins and alleviate painful leg symptoms; and a related procedure known as stab phlebectomy, creating small incisions in the skin to remove varicose veins.