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Vascular Surgery

Vascular Surgery

 The vascular system is part of the circulatory system, which is comprised of the heart, the blood and the blood vessels. Blood vessels can be categorized as arteries, veins and capillaries, all of which have an essential function in oxygenating, nurturing and cleaning each cell of our body.

When non-invasive, medical treatment is not able to control diseases of the arteries, veins and the lymphatic system any more, vascular surgery is an option to be considered. Peripheral vascular diseases typically affect the aging population, as over time there is a natural hardening and loss of elasticity of the blood vessels, because of the fatty plaque deposited on the walls (called atherosclerosis). Besides aging, there are numerous risk factors that may aggravate vascular conditions and necessitate vascular surgery:

  • obesity
  • smoking
  • diabetesvascular-surgery_Small
  • high cholesterol
  • hypertension
  • lack of exercise

Vascular surgery is mostly required to treat clogged or weakened blood vessels or malfunctioning valves. The most commonly treated vascular conditions are carotid artery diseases, peripheral vascular diseases and aortic aneurisms.

What Conditions Require Vascular Surgery?

  • Atherosclerosis – The hardening of the blood vessels due to fat and calcium plaques that build up on the inner walls.
  • Peripheral arterial disease – When the blood flow is severely impeded by atherosclerosis.
  • Embolism – A blockage caused by a blood clot.
  • Aneurysm-(cerebral, renal) – It is a dangerous condition in which at some parts blood vessels bulge like inflated balloons because of the thinning of the walls.
  • Carotid artery disease implies the blockage of the arteries in the neck, which may lead to stroke.
  • In vascular surgery leg is usually targeted because of the following conditions: blood clots, venous stasis, deep vein thrombosis, claudication, phlebitis, varicose veins
  • Blockage of the lymph vessels
  • Amputation
  • Carotid endarectomy
  • Some types of erectile dysfunctions

Why is Vascular Surgery Most Commonly Performed?

  • To prevent a heart attack or a stroke
  • Unclog blood vessels and improve the blood flow
  • Treat hypertension and angina
  • In vascular surgery leg is often saved from amputation
  • Improve claudication
  • Address aneurisms
  • Treat thrombosis and embolism, two common consequences of atherosclerosis.

Techniques Used by Vascular Surgery

  • Angioplasty - If the blockage in the arteries is not extended, balloon angioplasty is an efficient way to open up a clogged blood vessel.
  • Stenting – Implies a device placed at the site of angioplasty to keep the narrowed blood pass open.
  • Bypass vascular surgery is performed if there are various blockages in one area and for that reason angioplasty is not an option.
  • Thromboendarectomy is a technique to surgically remove the plagued or diseased inner layers of the arteries.
  • Resection can treat aneurism by the cutting out of the damaged artery and replacing it with a graft.
  • Vascular reconstruction
  • Bypass graft is used to make a detour around a blocked artery with a vein taken from another part of the body.
  • Thrombectomy
  • Embolectomy
  • Vascular graft placement
  • Microvascular surgery – when tissues are moved from one part of the body to the other, mainly for reconstructive reasons, the blood vessels (sometimes 1-2 mm in diameter) of the graft need to be reconnected to the surrounding tissue. For this purpose microvascular surgery uses a microscope to magnify smaller blood vessels to be reconnected.


By Yifat Manor