PeaceHealth Medical Group - Surgery
Vascular Surgery Procedures Guide
Varicose Vein Surgery
Veins are blood vessels that return the blood from your body back to your lungs (to receive oxygen) and to your heart to be pumped back out to the rest of the body through other blood vessels called arteries. Veins can become weakened and have bulging areas along them. This is often seen in the legs and appear as rope like areas in the skin. These varicose veins can be painful and also cause leg fatigue and swelling. Varicose vein surgery can remove or tie off these weakened or bulging areas of the veins through small incisions in the skin. You have many veins in your legs and after surgery the body routes the blood flow back through other healthier veins.
Strokes and mini-strokes (TIA’s or transient ischemic attacks) occur when there is a shortage of blood flowing to the brain and the brain does not get enough oxygen. The carotid arteries are the major arteries on either side of the neck that supply blood to the brain. When these arteries have a blockage, you may experience no symptoms at all or you may have a loss of sensation, speech difficulties, loss of memory, numbness or weakness on one side of the body. An ultrasound on the arteries in your neck can determine whether or not you have a blockage. A carotid endarterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the blockage from the carotid arteries. The passageway is made larger, allowing the blood to flow again.
Peripheral Bypass Surgery
Cramping leg pain after walking just a short distance is a symptom of peripheral artery disease. Pain in your leg, foot, heel or toes while you are resting is another symptom of the disease. It can affect both legs but tends to affect one leg first. Peripheral artery disease can’t be cured but bypass surgery can improve blood flow and help control the painful symptoms. Your surgeon will create a new path for the blood to flow through. Blood will pass around the areas with the narrowed arteries and be allowed to reach the leg and foot. Before surgery you may have a test where special dye is injected into your arteries to show the location of the blockage. This test, an arteriogram, is used to help your surgeon plan surgery. There are two main types of bypass surgery. A Femoral Popliteal Bypass ends behind the knee. A Femoral Tibial Bypass ends below the knee. Both procedures may use your own vein as a graft or a synthetic graft.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair
The abdominal aorta is the main blood vessel in the stomach area. It can develop a weakened part of the blood vessel wall and bulge out like a balloon. If an aneurysm gets large enough, it could burst. If it bursts, it is a life threatening situation. During surgery for an abdominal aortic aneurysm, the wall of the aorta is replaced with a hollow manmade tube, called a graft.
Compassion. Precision. Confidence.