Need endovascular surgery in Raleigh?

The survival of the human body depends of the circulation of blood through a vast network of blood vessels that would stretch to over 100,000 miles if they were laid out in a single line.  This circulation occurs by the heart pumping blood out through arteries to all regions of the body, and then the veins bringing blood back to the heart.  Along the way, blood performs a number of important duties that are necessary for proper functioning of the body.  These include supplying the rest of the body with oxygen, helping to combat diseases and carrying toxins to the liver and kidneys for filtering.

Many conditions can affect this complex movement of blood throughout the body, such as an aneurysm, which is a bulge or “ballooning” in the wall of a blood vessel.  When an aneurysm or other similar conditions occur, surgery may be needed to repair it.  In addition to conventional surgical procedures, endovascular surgery is an alternative option that is offered by Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic Inc.

What is endovascular surgery?

Endovascular surgery is an innovative, minimally invasive procedure used to treat vascular (blood vessel-related) disorders from within arteries and veins.  Minimally invasive means that compared to conventional, or open surgery, the incision made into the skin is much smaller.  Endovascular surgery uses balloons, stents and other devices  to effectively treat these disorders.  Cameras and instruments that are manipulated by remote control may also be used to guide these procedures.

In the example of an aneurysm given above, endovascular surgery begins with a small incision made near the crease between the hip and the thigh.  From there, a small guidewire is inserted through the incision and pushed through the blood vessel to the aneurysm.  This guidewire is used to guide a catheter (a long, flexible and narrow tube) directly over it.  The catheter then carries a graft (a special tube device with self-expanding stents) through the blood vessels to the aorta (a large artery) above the aneurysm.  Once in place, the graft is released from the catheter and it expands, which blocks the flow of blood to the aneurysm.  This reduction of bloodflow will shrink the aneurysm over time.

Why is endovascular surgery attractive?

In addition to using a smaller incision compared to open surgery, there are a few other characteristics that make endovascular surgery an attractive alternative.  In most, but not all cases, these include:

  • Lower risk for complications
  • Shorter recovery times for patients
  • Less discomfort
  • Local or regional anesthesia instead of general anesthesia
  • Less stress on the heart

These qualities may also benefit patients who need surgery but are at high risk of complications from other health conditions.  Endovascular surgery is not suitable for all patients, and the risks and benefits of all procedures should be discussed between the surgeon and patient before any treatment decisions are made

What conditions can be treated by endovascular surgery?

Aside from aneurysms, endovascular surgery can be used to treat a number of other vascular disorders.  These include: 

  • Varicose veins
  • Vascular brain tumors
  • Arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
  • Carotid artery disease
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Other blood vessel blockages that may lead to heart attack or stroke