Renal vascular disease affects the circulation and function to the kidneys. Renal vascular disease is caused by a number of conditions that include but are not limited to renal artery stenosis or blockage, a thrombosis or blood clot to the renal artery, or an aneurysm, which is a weakened area of the blood vessel wall in the renal artery that leads to the kidney. Other causes of vascular renal artery disease include chronic high blood pressure or hypertension, decreased blood flow to the kidneys from disease, or hormones in the body, which often influence blood pressure.
One of the most common causes of renal artery disease is hypertension or high blood pressure. High blood pressure is diagnosed when the systolic blood pressure is over 140 and diastolic pressure is over 90. Hypertension is known as a silent disease. Renal artery angioplasty is a procedure that opens blocked or clogged renal arteries, restoring adequate blood flow to the kidneys, enabling them to function properly.
Renal artery angioplasty is a procedure that may benefit anyone diagnosed with long-term hypertension who is at an increased risk for renal or kidney damage. Hypertension and resulting renal artery damage often occurs without obvious and specific symptoms but is a major cause for coronary artery disease, strokes, and renal disease or kidney failure.
Renal artery angioplasty and stenting is a process that involved the placement of a mesh-type support inside weakened or damaged walls of a blood vessel to maintain blood flow and circulation. Stents are often utilized in coronary bypass or other vascular angioplasty procedures, as well as those involving the renal artery system.
Prior to a renal artery angioplasty procedure, patients undergo a variety of tests to determine the condition of renal artery damage. Tests may include:
In some cases, a blocked renal artery may be treated first through medications, including diuretics, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors or calcium channel blockers. If such methods don't provide beneficial results, the angioplasty and stenting procedure may be suggested.
During the renal artery angioplasty procedure, the physician inserts a catheter through a very small incision, typically in the groin, and carefully guides the wire through blood vessels up to the renal artery. The tip of the catheter is fitted with a very small balloon that inflates and deflates inside the artery, flattening plaque or the blockage against the walls of the artery. After the artery has been opened, the doctor inserts a very small metal mesh tube called a stent into the artery, which holds the artery open.
Renal artery angioplasty and stenting is an outpatient procedure, although, depending on condition, age and prognosis, some patients may be hospitalized. In most cases however, the patient is awake during the procedure, although he or she may be given a mild sedative to help with relaxation.
In the United States, angioplasty procedure costs will depend on type of procedure (balloon or angioplasty with vascular stents). However, general costs for such procedures range tens of thousands of dollars. In some cases, medical and health insurance will help cover these costs.
However, medical travelers taking advantage of excellently trained and certified physicians in countries like India, Singapore and Thailand may enjoy huge cost savings. For example, angioplasty procedures in India generally cost around $11,000, while the same procedures cost around $13,000 in Singapore and Thailand.
A vascular surgeon is a specialist in the treatment of diseases and injuries to the arteries and veins in the body. 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.
Training and certification in vascular surgery differ by country, but professionals should belong to standard bodies of organizations or professional organizations such as the American College of Surgeons, the Vascular Society of Great Britain and Ireland, or the Australian and New Zealand Society of Vascular Surgery.
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