An aortogram is a specialized x-ray examination of the blood vessels within the abdomen that is performed to detect narrowed or closed areas that may indicate an abdominal aneurysm. Your doctor may recommend this procedure if you are experiencing pain in the legs that may be caused by a buildup of fatty deposits. It may also be performed to evaluate an aneurysm prior to surgery to ensure the most effective results for each patient’s individual procedure.
During an aortogram, a catheter is inserted into the groin under local anesthesia, and guided to an artery in the abdomen. A contrast dye is then injected into the area as well, and images are taken as it moves through the body. After the examination, the patient will need to rest for a few hours and should drink plenty of liquids before returning to their regular activities. Exercise and other types of strenuous activity should be avoided for a week after this procedure.
Arterial grafting is performed to bypass a blocked or diseased part of an artery in order to restore proper blood flow and reduce the risk of serious complications. During this procedure, part of a blood vessel from another area of the body is used to prevent blood from passing through narrowed vessels affected by a wide range of vascular conditions to ensure that oxygen-rich blood can successfully reach the heart. The graft used in this procedure is often taken from a healthy artery within the chest, leg or arm.
This procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia and may take several hours, depending on the number of arteries being bypassed. A hospital stay is often required after this procedure and patients will be given specific post-operative instructions in order to promote proper healing and effective heart function.
An endarterectomy surgically removes diseased material and clogged deposits from the inside of an artery to restore normal blood flow. When the procedure is performed on the carotid artery, the blood vessel in the neck that supplies blood to the brain, it is called a carotid endarterectomy.
Why have a carotid endarterectomy?
By ensuring proper blood flow to the brain, the procedure helps prevent the occurrence or re-occurrence of stroke.
Is my carotid artery clogged?
The most significant warning sign that you may have a blocked carotid artery is transient ischemic attack (TIA), a stroke-like event caused by improper blood flow in the carotid.
Peripheral Artery Disease Treatment
Peripheral artery disease is a serious vascular condition involving a buildup of plaque within the peripheral arteries of the legs and feet. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue, and other substances in the blood, and can accumulate as a result of several different factors.
The buildup of plaque or blood clots can severely narrow or block the arteries and limit the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your body. PAD usually affects the legs, but also can affect the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your head, arms, kidneys, and stomach. Patients with this condition may experience:
- Pain or cramping in the hips, thighs or calves
- Numbness or weakness in the legs
- Skin sores
- Hair loss
- Weak pulse in the legs
- Coldness in the legs
Treatment for this condition aims to relieve symptoms and stop the progression of the disease in order to reduce the risk of a heart attack or other serious complications. Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise can effectively treat mild cases of PAD, while more severe cases may require surgery. Common procedures for PAD may include angioplasty, which inserts a catheter with a balloon on the end into the blocked artery to gently expand it, or bypass grafting, which uses part of an artery from another area of the body to bypass the blocked part of the artery and restore normal blood flow. Your doctor will determine which type of treatment is best for your individual condition.
Stenting is a common treatment method used to expend arteries within the lower extremities affected by peripheral artery disease (PAD). This condition involves blockage, hardening or narrowing of blood vessels throughout the body as a result of a buildup of plaque. This reduced or blocked blood supply can significantly increase a person’s risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
A stent is a wire mesh tube that can help keep affected arteries open once they have been expanded during a balloon angioplasty procedure. Stents are placed over a catheter that is then guided to the affected artery, where it will expand and remain in place after the catheter is removed. Over time, the inside lining of the artery will grow over the metal surface of the stent.