Minimally Invasive Surgery for the Treatment of Vascular Disease
Endovascular surgery is the treatment of vascular disease from inside the blood vessel.
This minimally invasive surgery requires only
a small incision to gain access to the problematic location, and typically results in less pain and shorter recovery time for patients
than traditional surgery.
What is Vascular Disease?
Vascular health means how well blood vessels function. Vascular disease or disease of the blood vessels can be categorized as those affecting the arteries (blood vessels carrying
blood away from the heart) and those affecting the veins (blood vessels carrying blood to the heart).
At the Endovascular Center of Western Mass, we have expertise in diagnosing and treating vascular disease using advanced technology to identify and treat vascular problems throughout
Diseases Affecting the Arteries
Most of the diseases affecting the arteries are associated with atherosclerosis or thickening of the artery walls due to the
deposit of fats. This may cause blockage of the affected vessels resulting in a decreased blood supply to the organs or parts of the body that are supplied by these vessels.
Depending on which parts are affected, these blockages can cause:
- Intermittent claudication (muscle pain when walking)
- Aneurysm (weakening of the artery wall)
- Kidney or other organ failure
Diseases Affecting the Veins
Veins can also be effected by conditions that can cause pain and that may lead to other complications:
- Varicose veins—dilated and engorged veins in the legs which may lead to pain and ulcers in the legs which cannot heal.
- Deep vein thrombosis—another common vascular disorder where blood clots form in the veins. These clots may get stuck in the lung arteries and cause a pulmonary embolism which is life threatening.
Endovascular Surgery Procedures
These minimally invasive treatments include:
Angioplasties and Stenting
Angioplasty involves opening up narrowed vessels with balloons, which are inserted inside the narrowed area to enlarge the segment.
Endoluminal Stent Grafting
Endoluminal stent grafting of aortic aneurysms and dissections involves putting a tube within the artery, so that the affected area is covered with a strong layer within.
Catheter-administered Thrombolytic Therapy
This involves injection of drugs into the affected part to dissolve the blood clot.
Insertion of Vena Caval Filters
Vena caval filters are mechanical devices placed in the vein to prevent large blood clots in the leg veins from going to the lung arteries (pulmonary ambolism).
Other Forms of Treatment
- Structured exercise programs for intermittent claudication
- Compression bandaging for the venous insufficiency
- Physical therapy for lymphoedema
Mercy Medical Center—Partnering
with ECWM to Improve Lives
Located on the Mercy Medical Center campus, ECWM provides patients with easy access to all necessary services in one location including Mercy diagnostic testing, the Mercy Wound Care Center, and rehabilitative services through Weldon Rehabilitation Hospital.
Endovascular Diagnostic Tools
- Angiography—X-ray images of the arteries, veins and lymphatics taken after injection of radio-opaque contrast
- CT scans (computerized tomography)
- Radio-isotope angiography
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)