What Is Vascular Surgery?
Vascular surgery is used to treat patients with a disease or disorder that affects the vascular system. The vascular system includes the arteries, veins and capillaries, which all play an important role in circulating blood in the body. Some common types of vascular diseases include thoracic and abdominal aneurysms, carotid artery disease, renal artery disease and lower extremity. While some forms of vascular disease may be treated with simple lifestyle changes or medications, other types may need surgical intervention. Surgery may help resolve troublesome symptoms and prevent further complications.
The UK Vascular and Endovascular Surgery team provides a variety of innovative procedures for treating vascular disease. We offer comprehensive care that involves providers from other specialties when needed, such as experts from our Vein Clinic and Wound Care Clinic. Our surgeons evaluate each patient's unique set of symptoms to tailor a custom treatment plan. Some types of vascular surgery we offer include:
- Endovascular surgery
- Vein ablations
- Venous reconstructive surgery
Before Vascular Surgery
While it's normal to feel nervous before any procedure, taking steps to prepare for vascular surgery can help you feel more relaxed and confident. Before your operation, you will meet with your surgeon and nurse to talk about what the surgery entails, review any necessary medications and complete any paperwork. At this time, you can speak with your provider about any questions or concerns. You will be given a list of postoperative instructions to follow.
You may also want to prepare your home for your return. Returning to a clean home and stocked pantry to return to will help you focus on rest.
During Vascular Surgery
Many surgeries are completed under general anesthesia. This is so you do not feel pain or remember the surgery afterwards.
The surgeon will first make an incision close to the affected area, whether it is to access a blocked artery, insert a catheter or place a stent. The cut is typically in the groin or leg. Surgical time varies on the type of procedure, but your provider may be able to give you an estimate prior to surgery.
When finished with the procedure, your surgeon will take care to close the incision with stitches and you will be closely monitored in another room or the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CICU). Some procedures are done on an outpatient basis, while for others, you may need to stay in the hospital for a few days.
After Vascular Surgery
Following your provider's postoperative instructions for is essential for a smooth recovery. After your operation, you may have some swelling, soreness or pain where the incision was made. Keep the area elevated to reduce inflammation and take any prescribed pain medication.
Your provider will instruct you on how to take care of your incision. You may need to change your bandages and keep the area clean and dry. Always attend any follow-up appointments so your provider can check your progress.