Vascular Procedures & Surgeries
Vascular disease represents a number of conditions that affect the arteries and veins of the circulatory system. Usually, vascular disease is caused by blocked, compressed or ruptured blood vessels. If left untreated, these issues can lead to pain in the extremities, loss of limbs, stroke, heart attacks and other serious medical conditions.
While eating well, exercising and quitting smoking can help reduce the risk for these conditions, sometimes vascular surgery is a necessary treatment. At Tampa General Hospital, the vascular surgeons, interventional radiologists, cardiologists, nurses and other cardiovascular specialists have extensive experience in complex vascular procedures and interventions.
Some of the procedures performed at Tampa General include:
This procedure is performed to open arteries that are narrowed or blocked by plaque. An expandable balloon is delivered via a catheter that is guided through the circulatory system to a narrowed part of the artery. The balloon is then inflated, stretching the artery open and allowing blood to flow through. In most cases, the physician will implant a stent in the vessel to prevent it from reclosing.
Atherectomy is a vascular procedure to remove plaque and fibrous tissue blocking an artery, usually the coronary artery. A catheter is advanced to an artery’s blockage, where it removes the plaque buildup either by a laser beam or a cutting device, allowing blood to flow through freely.
The carotid arteries pass through the neck to deliver oxygen-rich blood to the brain. During an angiogram, an iodine dye is delivered via a catheter and a camera is used to examine the arteries for aneurysms, blockages or other abnormalities.
The carotid arteries pass through the neck to deliver oxygen-rich blood to the brain. If one of them becomes clogged with fatty deposits called plaque, brain cells can begin to die, an event known as a stroke. A carotid endarterectomy is a surgical procedure in which the blockage is removed from a carotid artery that contains plaque deposits.
Carotid stenting is a minimally invasive procedure to re-establish blood flow through blocked carotid arteries, the arteries in the neck that deliver blood to the brain. A small metal mesh tube called a stent is implanted in a blocked artery to open a blockage and reduce the risk of stroke. The stent is delivered to the site through a catheter that is guided through the circulatory system from a blood vessel in the groin. Tampa General is the only facility on Florida’s west coast that is accredited by Medicare for this procedure.
Dialysis is a procedure in which a patient’s blood is circulated through a machine that cleans it of impurities and regulates fluid and chemical balances. For patients needing long-term dialysis, an easy-to-access entryway into the bloodstream is created under the skin, usually in the arm, leg or neck.
Endovascular Stent Graft
Aneurysms are balloon-like bulges in arteries that carry the danger of rupturing. In this minimally invasive procedure, a catheter is used to insert a slender metal-and-fabric tube called a graft into the weakened blood vessel, allowing blood to flow easily through the vessel and preventing it from rupturing. This procedure is usually performed for an aneurysm in the abdominal section of the aorta, the body’s largest artery.
Tampa General Hospital is one of seven hospitals in the country with the technology to perform this procedure with the Cook Zenith® Fenestrated (Zfen) stent graft, which is used to treat juxtarenal aortic aneurysms. Our vascular surgeons are experts and national leaders in this treatment.
Surgical Aneurysm Repair
Surgical methods can be used to bypass, replace, patch or clamp off blood flow to the weakened area of the vessel with an aneurysm. The strategy varies for each patient based on the aneurysm’s size, location and risk of rupture.
Varicose veins are a type of peripheral venous disease and are caused by venus reflux, a condition in which valves that keep blood flowing through a vein become damaged or diseased. This minimally invasive vascular procedure closes a diseased vein by inserting a catheter with electrodes at the tip into the vein. The electrodes heat the vein, causing it to shrink and close. After the procedure, blood naturally bypasses the closed vessel and flows to healthy veins.
Following an angioplasty, a wire mesh tube called a stent is permanently placed in a blocked artery to hold it open, allowing blood to circulate through. Both metal and drug-eluting stents, which secrete drugs that help prevent the blood vessel from reclosing, are available.
During this vascular procedure, the surgeon creates a detour around a blocked area of an artery using a portion of the patient’s vein or a synthetic fabric tube.
Thoracic outlet decompression
Treatment for thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS)—a condition in which the small space located in the upper chest consisting of numerous blood vessels, muscles and nerves that serve the arm becomes narrowed and compresses the nerves or blood vessels—involves surgically removing part or all of a rib.
During this vascular procedure, a catheter is guided through the circulatory system directly to a clot to administer clot-dissolving drugs or to mechanically break up the clot. Thrombolysis is used mainly in critical situations in which a patient is having or in danger of having a heart attack, stroke or pulmonary embolism.
Treatment of Vascular Malformations
Vascular malformations are birth defects characterized by abnormal clusters of blood vessels. These malformations may cause problems with blood flow and can carry the risk of hemorrhagic stroke from a ruptured blood vessel. The treatment is determined by the malformation’s type, location and risk of complications. Treatment options include surgically removing or blocking off the malformation or directing radiation to malformed vessels in the brain, which causes them to eventually close.
Vena Cava Filter
A vena cava filter is a metallic, umbrella-shaped device implanted into the inferior vena cava, a large vein that carries blood from the lower extremities back to the heart. Its purpose is to prevent blood clots formed in the legs, pelvis or groin from reaching the lungs. The filter is delivered via a catheter that is guided through the circulatory system. It is used with patients who have conditions such as deep vein thrombosis, which places them at risk for pulmonary embolism. A vena cava filter can also be implanted in trauma patients.
Tampa General Hospital is known for providing world-class care and our collaboration with the University of South Florida has placed us at the forefront of innovation in the vascular treatment landscape. Our team includes nationally recognized, board-certified vascular surgeons and specialists, and we are dedicated to providing the best outcomes for our patients. Additionally, TGH has earned ranking on U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-2021 list of America's Best Hospitals and Best Florida Hospital for Cardiology & Heart Surgery, and our ultrasound vascular laboratory is accredited in five specialty testing areas by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC).