Endovascular surgery is a catheter-based intervention used to treat conditions that affect blood vessels.
Endovascular surgery is an innovative procedure used to treat many types of vascular conditions. It involves operating from inside a blood vessel, using a catheter to deliver medication and special surgical tools to repair the aorta. Tampa General Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Institute is committed to delivering advanced treatments and world-class outcomes to our patients, and our multidisciplinary team of vascular specialists treats many conditions using endovascular surgery.
Conditions Treated With Endovascular Surgery
Endovascular surgery can be an effective treatment for:
- Aortic aneurysms (abdominal, thoracic)
- Aortic dissections
- Aortic occlusions
- Aortic valve disease
- Arteriovenous fistulas
- Blood clots
- Carotid artery disease
- Chronic venous insufficiency
- Critical limb ischemia
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Fibromuscular dysplasia
- Penetrating aortic ulcers and intramural hematomas
- Peripheral artery disease
- Pulmonary embolisms
- Renal vascular disease
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Varicose veins
Performing Endovascular Surgery
An endovascular procedure uses a long, thin tube called a catheter to operate inside the blood vessel:
- An incision is made in the groin area (most common) to access a blood vessel.
- The surgeon inserts the catheter into the blood vessel and then injects a dye through the catheter so that the blood vessel will appear on an imaging screen (typically, an ultrasound or fluoroscopy).
- Using imaging, the surgeon guides the catheter through the blood vessel until it reaches the treatment area.
- From there, surgical tools, medication, stents and other medical instruments can be inserted through the catheter. The surgeon can widen an artery by inserting a stent, remove a large blood clot, block off a section of an artery and reroute blood flow to repair an aneurysm and more.
- Once the procedure is complete, the catheter will be removed, the incision stitched up and the patient brought to a recovery room.
What to Expect From Endovascular Surgery
Endovascular surgery provides a wide range of benefits when compared to traditional open-heart surgery, including:
- Smaller incision scars
- Less postoperative pain
- A faster recovery period
- Lower mortality and morbidity rates
Complications after endovascular surgery are rare, but may include:
- Stent fracturing
- Restenosis (the artery that was widened becoming narrow again)
- Blood flow leakage around the blood vessel
Effectiveness of Endovascular Surgery
Endovascular surgery can effectively treat many kinds of cardiovascular conditions, but it’s not the right choice for every patient or every condition. TGH takes an individualized approach to treatment and each patient’s eligibility depends on many factors, such as the extent of their condition and their overall health.