Lifesaving treatment: Procedures we offer
The vascular-endovascular surgeons at CHI Memorial Vascular Surgery Specialists tailor your treatment plan to your specific needs and preferences. In many cases, procedures are performed using minimally invasive techniques, depending on the type and severity of your condition. Minimally invasive or noninvasive procedures may offer many advantages over traditional surgery, resulting in less pain and scaring and a shorter recovery for you.
Vascular surgery focuses on the treatment of two main problems that can occur in a person’s blood vessels: narrowing that develops from the buildup of plaque or enlargement that develops from degeneration of the vessel wall and weakens it. This can occur in vessels located throughout the body including the neck, extremities, abdomen, and chest.
When plaque builds up and causes narrowing, blood flow may be limited. A stroke can happen when this narrowing occurs in the arteries of the neck. This narrowing or limited blood flow can also impact a person’s ability to walk or cause severe pain or non-healing ulcers on the legs. If the artery wall weakens and enlarges, aneurysms can develop and lead to complications like rupture or thrombosis (clotting off). The vascular surgeon’s job is to clean out blocked arteries when necessary and keep aneurysms from rupturing or clotting if they enlarge to a critical size.
In the past, vascular surgery was mostly open surgery. Today, many of the procedures are performed using minimally invasive approaches where the blood vessel is accessed with a small needle. Under x-ray guidance, a wire is guided through the blood vessel and is used like a track to deliver balloon stents and devices that remove plaque in the blood vessels or clear obstructions.
Low-cost, painless screenings allow specialists to detect vascular disease in its earliest stages when treatment is most effective.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) surgery
An aneurysm is a weakening of the artery wall that results in a ballooning or bulging artery and often has no symptoms until it ruptures. In AAA surgery, surgeons make an incision in the abdomen to uncover the aorta. Once inside, they use a graft to strengthen the artery wall and repair the aneurysm. Although the majority of aneurysms never rupture, those that do are surgical emergencies requiring immediate repair.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) surgery, endovascular (minimally invasive)
CHI Memorial is proud to be the first hospital in the Chattanooga region to offer endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repairs using a new, minimally invasive technique. This new technique uses a fenestrated endograft and is the first graft in the world that incorporates customized openings that are made specifically to match a person’s unique anatomy.
The graft is inserted through two small incisions in the groin, positioned through image-guided technology that helps ensure proper placement. Once the graft is inserted, stents are placed in the fenestrated openings to secure it, ensuring blood flow to the correct arteries. This elective, minimally invasive option is indicated for people with compromised heart, lung and kidney health and who have an increased risk of death with an open surgery.
Carotid artery surgery and stenting
This procedure is used to treat carotid artery disease, a condition that occurs in the arteries on either side of your neck that bring blood flow to your brain and face. Carotid artery surgery and stenting restores proper blood flow to the brain by removing plaque from the inside of the artery walls and keeping the artery open with carefully placed stents.
In this procedure, the surgeon makes an incision in the front of the neck to open the carotid artery and remove the plaque that is hindering proper blood flow. The artery is stitched back together, and a graft is sometimes used to strengthen the artery wall.
The femoral artery is a large blood vessel located in the groin area on both sides of your body. Its job is to supply blood to your legs. A femoral endarterectomy is a procedure used to remove plaque that is blocking or hindering proper blood flow. In this procedure, the surgeon makes an incision in the groin to open the femoral artery. Once the plaque is removed, the artery is stitched together or secured with an artificial material called a graft.
A fistulogram is an x-ray procedure used to diagnose and assess the shape and size of a fistula, a surgically made passage or connection between organs or vessels that don’t typically connect.
People who require dialysis for kidney disease need hemodialysis access to receive their treatment. Vascular surgeons place the three types of access for hemodialysis: a fistula, a graft or a catheter, which allow blood to be removed from the body, cleaned by a dialysis machine, and then returned to the body.
Percutaneous revascularization of blocked blood vessels
Percutaneous revascularization is a non-surgical method used to open narrowed or blocked arteries. This intervention is performed with a catheter that’s inserted through the skin in the groin or arm and into an artery. Several devices like a balloon or stent may be used to go directly to the area of narrowing and restore proper blood flow.
A peripheral arteriogram is a test that uses x-rays and dye to capture pictures of the arteries that supply blood flow to the body. It’s used to look for and evaluate blockages in the blood vessels.
Transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR)
Transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR) is a minimally invasive procedure to treat carotid artery disease and is an option for patients who are considered high risk for traditional carotid endarterectomy. During the procedure, a special transcarotid neuro-protection system is used to reduce a patient’s risk of stroke by allowing the surgeon to access the carotid artery and temporarily reverse blood flow to protect the brain while implanting the stent.
Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR)
Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) is a procedure to treat aneurysms located in the upper part of the aorta, the largest artery that carries blood from your heart to the rest of the body. This minimally invasive procedure is performed with a small incision where a device called a stent graft is placed to reinforce the aneurysm and provide a clear route for the blood to flow.
A venogram is a test that allows the doctor to examine your veins on an x-ray to determine how healthy they are. This non-invasive test helps your surgeon more effectively diagnose and treat vascular conditions.