Endovascular therapy is similar to traditional types of vascular surgery except that it's a less invasive procedure. Because it's less invasive, healing time is faster and individuals are not required to spend so much time in a hospital. Endovascular therapy may be relatively simple or complex and is an advanced procedure that offers surgical repair of damaged or diseased blood vessels in the body.
One of the major facets of endovascular therapy is its approach to arterial disease. Endovascular therapy utilizes balloons and or stands to treat blocked or weak arteries. Endovascular therapy is most commonly performed when patients are awake, under local anesthesia, reducing the risks of treatment related complications.
Your doctor will determine whether you are a candidate for traditional surgery or endovascular therapy in the treatment of various conditions or disease processes. Endovascular therapies are performed by a trained a vascular surgeon. Those diagnosed with conditions such as an abdominal aortic aneurysm or those who require carotid or coronary artery angioplasty or stenting to help reduce risk of stroke or heart attack may be candidates for endovascular therapy. In addition, patients diagnosed with neurologic vascular lesions may also be candidates for cerebral vascular neurosurgical treatments and therapies using an endovascular approach.
Endovascular therapy is a form of vascular disease treatment performed from inside a blood vessel. Also known as angioplasty, this technique has been utilized for several decades, although newer technologies offer enhanced benefits. Endovascular surgery is used to treat artery blockage and peripheral artery disease conditions. Common conditions that benefit from endovascular therapy include:
Endovascular therapy is also commonly known as angioplasty. Angioplasty is a non-surgical procedure that enables a catheter (on whose tip is attached with an inflatable balloon) to thread its way through blocked arteries and vessels, inflating, and thereby re-opening the blocked or clogged passages. Two common types of angioplasty/stenting are used in outpatient or same-day surgical procedures:
Angioplasty with vascular stents is a procedure that involves the insertion of a metal device into the artery to help hold it open. Picture a wire mesh tube placed inside a damaged garden hose to hold it open. This is similar to what a vascular stent does. It's inserted into the blocked area of the vessel. Stents are very small and made of self- expanding stainless steel. Often, stents are coated with drugs that help reduce the chance of blood vessels narrowing again. Stents may need to be replaced again at some point in the future, as they are not meant as a permanent fixture.
Balloon angioplasty commonly used for individuals with mild to moderate artery blockage. During this procedure, a thin, flexible and hollow tube fitted with a small, inflatable balloon is typically inserted into an artery in the groin and threaded upward until it meets the area of blockage. The balloon is then slowly inflated, opening the blocked vessel and restoring blood flow much like a plumber unclogs a kitchen pipe with a plumber's snake. This procedure does not employ the insertion of a stent as a semi-permanent placement to hold the vessel open.
Cardiothoracic surgeons, peripheral vascular surgeons, vascular and general surgeons may perform endovascular surgery and therapies. Vascular medicine specialists and interventional cardiologists may also perform endovascular therapy. Vascular surgeons around the world typically train four to eight years post- internship in this field. Vascular surgeons often work in close conjunction with radiology clinics and endovascular specialists and are experienced in procedures like angioplasty and stenting.
This type of procedure requires that surgeons receive credentials in various associations and societies including but not limited to the Society of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology, the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions, the American College of Cardiology, the Society of Vascular Surgery/International Society of Cardiovascular Surgery, or similar organizations or associations in the surgeons country of origin.
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