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Vascular Surgery

Named the No. 1 hospital for vascular surgery in New York State (NYS) and among the top five percent in the nation by HealthGrades®, St. Joseph's vascular program – which treats all the blood vessels in the body except in the heart – provides a comprehensive and coordinated group of services while delivering the highest quality of care. St. Joseph's has one of the largest vascular diagnostic and treatment programs in NYS, and our specially trained physicians are skilled in the latest surgical techniques.

Vascular diseases such as coronary artery disease (heart attack), cerebrovascular disease (stroke), and peripheral arterial disease (loss of limb or loss of use of limb) are some of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Typically caused by atherosclerosis (a build-up of plaque, which is a deposit of fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium, and fibrin in the inner lining of an artery), vascular disease can affect your ability to walk, exercise, work and/or sexual performance. Atherosclerosis is a systemic, progressive, chronic vascular disease process that particularly affects the carotid arteries (major blood supply to the brain), coronary arteries (blood supply to the heart), and the peripheral arteries. Early intervention with the vascular disease process may not only prevent a more serious disability, but also help you live longer and experience a better quality of life.

Handling more than 1,600 vascular surgeries per year, St. Joseph’s vascular team consists of seven surgeons with decades of experience each treating these high-risk conditions. This experience is one of the reasons St. Joseph’s vascular surgeons are ranked so highly by HealthGrades.

In addition to its No. 1 ranking in NYS and top five percent in the nation, St. Joseph’s vascular surgery program has also been recognized as:

  • Recipient of HealthGrades Vascular Surgery Excellence Award™ for two years in a row (2011-2012)
  • Rated five stars for vascular surgery (2012)
  • Rated five stars for carotid surgery (2010-2012)
  • Rated five stars for peripheral vascular bypass (2012)

To learn more about our vascular center of excellence, visit our Vascular Services page.

Meet our vascular surgeons.

Conditions & Relevant Terms

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)
An abdominal aortic aneurysm, also called AAA or triple A, is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of the aorta (the largest artery in the body) in the abdomen region, resulting in an abnormal widening or ballooning greater than 50 percent of the vessel's normal diameter (width).

Aneurysm
A bulging, weakened area in the wall of a blood vessel.

Angiogram
A special X-ray that allows doctors see how well blood flows through arteries via the use of a contrast dye.

Arteriovenous Malformation
An abnormal connection between the arteries and veins.

Atherosclerosis
A build-up of plaque, which is a deposit of fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium, and fibrin in the inner lining of an artery.

Fistula
An abnormal opening or passage between two organs or between an organ and the surface of the body. Fistulas may be caused by injury, infection, or inflammation, or may be created during surgery.

Fluoroscopy
The study of moving body structures – similar to an X-ray "movie."

Occlusion
The blockage of a blood vessel.

Stenosis
The narrowing of a blood vessel.

Thrombosis
A blood clot within a blood vessel.

Vasospasm
A spasm of the blood vessel.

Varicose Veins
Enlarged veins that can be blue, red or flesh colored that occur when the valves in the veins that carry blood from the legs toward the heart no longer function, causing blood to pool in the legs.

Procedures

Carotid Stenting
Placing a small stainless steel device (stent) in the carotid artery, providing a framework for the artery to keep it from collapsing. This minimally invasive procedure improves blood flow.

Endovascular Repair of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) is a procedure that requires only small incisions in the groin along with the use of x-ray guidance and specially-designed instruments to repair the abdominal aortic aneurysm. With the use of special endovascular instruments and x-ray images for guidance, a stent-graft is inserted via the femoral artery and advanced up into the aorta to the site of the aneurysm. A stent-graft is a long cylinder-like tube made of thin metal mesh framework (stent), while the graft is made of various materials such as Dacron or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). The graft material may cover the stent and helps to hold the graft open and in place.

Endovascular Repair of Thoracic Aneurysms
Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) is a procedure that requires only small incisions in the groin along with the use of x-ray guidance and specially-designed instruments to repair the thoracic aneurysm. With the use of special endovascular instruments and x-ray images for guidance, a stent-graft is inserted via the femoral artery and advanced up into the aorta to the site of the aneurysm. A stent-graft is a long cylinder-like tube made of thin metal mesh framework (stent), while the graft is made of various materials such as Dacron or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). The graft material may cover the stent and helps to hold the graft open and in place.

Anti-thrombolytic Therapy
In this procedure, medication is injected directly into the bloodstream to dissolve clots.

Carotid Endarterectomy
This procedure clears the major blood vessel(s) in the neck of fatty buildup. The major purpose of this procedure is to prevent a blockage of blood that could lead to a stroke. St. Joseph's surgeons perform more than 300 carotid endarterectomies annually – more than twice the number of any other hospital in Central New York.

Endovenous Ablation
A minimally invasive treatment that involves the insertion of a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into a diseased vein to seal it shut using heat.

Hemodialysis
Hemodialysis is performed in a dialysis center or hospital by trained health care professionals. A special type of access, called an arteriovenous (AV) fistula, is placed surgically, in the arm, which involves joining an artery and a vein together. An external, central, intravenous (IV) catheter may also be inserted, but is less common for long term dialysis. After access has been established, the fistula will be connected to a large hemodialysis machine which drains blood, bathes it in a special dialysate solution which removes waste substances and fluid, then returns it to the bloodstream. Hemodialysis is usually performed several times a week and lasts for four to five hours.

Major Arterial Bypass
Arteries or veins from elsewhere in the patient's body are grafted – moved from one part of the body to another – to the arteries to bypass atherosclerotic narrowings (thickening of the artery wall as a result of the accumulation of fatty materials such as cholesterol) and improve the blood supply to the body.

Major Arterial Reconstruction
Weakened arteries can "balloon out" and leak or burst, resulting in severe injury or even death. Diagnostic tests can be used to find these areas, and surgery can repair them before problems develop. These life-and-limb saving operations are performed more frequently by the surgeons at St. Joseph's than at any other hospital in Central New York.

Open Repair of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
With an open repair for an abdominal aneurysm, a large incision is made in the abdomen to directly visualize the abdominal aorta and repair the aneurysm. A cylinder-like tube called a graft is used to repair the aneurysm by sewing it to the aorta, connecting one end of the aorta at the site of the aneurysm to the other end of the aorta.

Open Repair of Thoracic Aneurysms
With an open repair for a thoracic aneurysm, a large incision is made in the chest to directly visualize and repair the aneurysm. A cylinder-like tube called a graft is used to repair the aneurysm by sewing it to the aorta, connecting one end of the aorta at the site of the aneurysm to the other end of the aorta.

Percutaneous Balloon Angioplasty
As an alternative to surgery, St. Joseph's state-of-the-art rotational angiography equipment enables vascular specialists to diagnose and, when appropriate, treat some vascular problems.

PTA
PTA, an alternative to surgery, can help patients avoid amputation or other venous complication. It involves opening an artery that is closed or blocked by plaque. Physicians place a balloon catheter at the site of blockage, or stenosis, inflating the balloon to return blood flow to the area below the blockage.

Stenting
An alternative to surgery, which involves placing a small stainless steel device in a blood vessel, providing a framework for the artery to keep it from collapsing.

Varicose Vein Surgery
Varicose veins are twisted and enlarged veins that usually occur in the legs. Standard treatments include removing the vein either with surgery or a laser procedure. The surgical procedure involves tying off the vein, which runs between the hip and the foot, through a small incision at the hip. In the laser procedure, a catheter is inserted into the vein and the laser's burst of light causes the vein to disappear.

Resources

Vascular Surgeons of CNY 

Resource Line
Phone: (315) 703-2138
Toll Free: 1-888-STJOES1 (1-888-785-6371)