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Patient Care Services

Vascular Procedures

A vascular procedure is one that is done on the body's arteries and/or veins, excluding those in the heart. For more information on heart procedures, visit our Cardiac Services page. Below you will find some of the most common vascular procedures done at St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center.


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 and reduces the risk of a stroke.

 

Endovascular Repair of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

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 Aneurysm

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.

 

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. This is typically done to treat vericose veins in the legs.

 

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.

Open Repair of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

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 additional way to remove blockages, angioplasty is the mechanical widening of narrowed or obstructed arteries. By inserting an empty and collapsed balloon on a guide wire, known as a balloon catheter, the balloon is passed into the narrowed locations and then inflated crush the fatty deposits, opening up the blood vessel for improved blood flow. The balloon is then deflated and withdrawn.


Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty (PTA)

PTA, an additional way to remove blockages, can help patients avoid amputation or other venous complication. It involves opening a peripheral 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 additional way to remove blockages, stenting involves placing a small stainless steel device in a blood vessel, providing a framework for the artery to keep it from collapsing.

Thrombolytic Therapy

In this procedure, medication is injected directly into the bloodstream to dissolve clots. 

 

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.

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.

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