What is vascular surgery?
Vascular surgery refers to procedures, which deal with diseases in the vascular system, arteries or veins. Surgeons usually make use of minimally invasive surgical techniques when they perform this kind of surgery.
Vascular surgery can be used for some of the following:
- Carotid endarterectomy
This procedure is designed to decrease the risk of stroke. The surgery rectifies narrowing in the common carotid artery or internal carotid artery. During this procedure, your surgeon will remove plaque from the inside of the arteries.
- Femoropopliteal bypass
This procedure is performed above or below the knee. In order to bypass a blocked blood vessel, the blood is sent through a new vessel that has been made from graft materials, or through a vessel that has been transplanted.
- Abdominal aorta aneurysm
An abdominal aortic aneurysm is an enlarged area in the lower part of the aorta, the major blood vessel that supplies blood to the body. The aorta runs from the heart through the centre of the chest and abdomen.
How can an abdominal aorta aneurysm be removed?
During this procedure, an incision is made down the centre of the stomach, exposing the abdominal muscles to your surgeon. Your surgeon will then divide the muscles so that the abdominal cavity is visible. A piece of equipment called a retractor is used to hold the incision open, and your surgeon will lift the intestines out of the way, so that the aneurysm and the aorta can be properly viewed. Your surgeon will apply clamps to each artery – this will temporarily prevent blood flow to the legs. The artery above the aneurysm will also be clamped, shutting off the blood supply. An incision will be made in the artery wall so that the blood clot can be removed. Afterwards, any damaged blood vessels will be repaired and a tube will be inserted into the blood vessel to provide support. The clamps will then be removed, and blood flow will return to normal. The blood vessel will then be closed with sutures before the internal organs are put back into their normal positions, and the muscles, tissue and skin are closed with sutures and staples.
What is the Trendenburg position?
The Trendenburg position refers to the position of a patient lying flat on their back, with the feet positioned higher than the head. This position is used for abdominal surgery as it allows the surgeon to have better access to the intestines and other organs.