The Heart and Vascular Institute
What is a Vascular Surgeon?
Vascular surgeons are physicians who diagnose and treat diseases of all the major blood vessels (both arteries and veins) outside of the heart, including the carotid artery in the neck, the aorta in the chest and abdomen, and the arteries and veins in the legs.
Why See a Vascular Surgeon?
The board-certified vascular surgeons at St. Anthony’s have devoted their careers entirely to the management of peripheral vascular disease, to be assured that their patients receive the most appropriate, evidence-based care, whether that is:
- Medical management (example- physical therapy, smoking cessation, medication, etc.)
- Minimally invasive procedures (example- angioplasty, stenting, laser treatment, etc.)
- Open surgical treatment
The vascular surgeons at St. Anthony’s have, combined, more than 50 years of experience in treating the major arteries and veins outside of the heart. Specialties include:
- Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs)
- Carotid artery disease in patients at risk for stroke
- Lower extremity peripheral artery disease (PAD) in people with poor circulation
- Varicose veins
- Lower extremity wound care
Endovascular and Open Repair of Abdominal Aortic, Iliac and Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms
About 85 percent of patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA’s) qualify for a less invasive approach to repair, called endovascular aortic repair, or EVAR. This allows for a much faster recovery. About 90 percent of patients go home the day after surgery and are back to their normal routines in a week or two. St. Anthony’s vascular surgeons use a state-of-the-art endovascular operating room to perform these procedures. Those 15 percent of patients that are not candidates for endovascular repair can often times undergo open surgical repair of their aneurysms- a procedure that has withstood the test of time, dating back to the 1950s.
Carotid Endarterectomy and Carotid Artery Stenting
A carotid endarterectomy is the “gold-standard” procedure to surgically clean out blockages in the carotid artery in the neck with the goal of reducing the risk of stroke. Carotid endarterectomy has been performed since the 1950s and has been shown to have a lower risk of stroke than carotid stenting. Carotid stenting is reserved for patients at high risk for endarterectomy because of their other medical problems or because they have had prior neck surgery or radiation treatments.
Angioplasty and Stent Placement for Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
In an angioplasty procedure, a balloon-tipped catheter is placed into an artery or vein through a small puncture in the skin and advanced to where the vessel is narrow or blocked. The balloon is then inflated to open the vessel. When necessary, a small wire mesh tube called a “stent” may be placed permanently in the newly opened artery or vein to help it remain open.
For more information on vascular surgery, or to schedule an appointment with the St. Anthony’s Vascular team, call us at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669).