Vascular Surgical Procedures

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Surgical Repair (AAA Repair)

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair is performed to fix a weakened portion of the aorta located in the abdomen. The aorta is the largest artery in the body, carrying oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body, including the abdomen. The weakened aorta can balloon out, becoming thin, large, and fragile. This ballooning is called an aneurysm. As it progresses, there is risk of rupture, with massive internal bleeding.

The traditional repair procedure is an open-abdomen (or open-chest) surgery. The bulging aneurysm part of the aorta is removed, an artificial graft is put in its place, and the remaining aortic end-pieces are re-connected to the graft. The surgery is performed in the cardiac surgery suite or the operating room (OR), under general anesthesia and usually takes 3-5 hours.

Carotid Endarterectomy

If you have carotid artery disease, a carotid endarterectomy may be recommended. A carotid endarterectomy removes plaque from the inside of the arterial wall. An incision is made along the skin folds in the neck and a shunt (tube) may be used to supply blood to the brain during surgery. The treatment opens the artery to allow for normal blood flow to the brain and prevent plaque or emboli from going to the brain.

The surgery takes about two hours under general anesthesia. As with any surgical procedure, there risks that your surgeon will discuss with you, along with the benefits of your surgery. In many cases, the surgery is recommended or performed to help prevent a stroke from occurring.

Femoropopliteal Bypass (fem-pop bypass) Surgery

Femoropopliteal (fem-pop) bypass surgery is used to bypass diseased blood vessels above or below the knee.

To bypass the blocked blood vessel, blood is either redirected through a transplanted healthy blood vessel, or a man-made graft material is sewn to the existing artery and blood is rerouted through it.

Prior to surgery, the doctor will determine what type of material is best suited to bypass the blood vessel. Whenever possible, the surgeon will choose to use an existing piece of vein taken from the same leg. Man-made graft materials (such as polytetrafluoroethyline [PTFE] or Dacron) are more likely to become narrowed again, but they are still effective.

The section of vein or man-made blood vessel is sewn onto both the femoral and popliteal arteries so that blood can travel through the new graft vessel and around the existing blockage(s). See an illustration of a femoropopliteal (fem-pop) bypass .

General anesthesia or an injection in the spine (epidural) that prevents pain in the lower part of the body is used for this surgery. General anesthesia will cause you to sleep through the procedure.
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