Oftentimes, vascular diseases are overlooked or lumped together with heart conditions. In fact, high blood pressure, which affects tens of millions of US adults, is actually a form of vascular disease. However, because the vascular system is so complex and widespread, it can manifest in many different ways with a multitude of varying symptoms.
Everything from cramping, leg weakness or extreme fatigue can all be signs of vascular disease, but may be easily attributed to something else entirely.
As the system that circulates blood and oxygen throughout the entire body, the vascular system relies on the veins, arteries and lymph vessels to deliver vital nutrients and remove waste. However, when there is damage or an abnormality in one or more blood vessels, this is known as vascular disease. This can include everything from plaque build-up, the formation of blood clots or a thinning of artery walls, all of which can limit your body’s ability to circulate blood and lead to something more serious.
Why Choose NGHS?
At NGHS, we have an established and highly-respected Vascular Surgery Program that combines advanced services with expertise. Patients will have access to the complete spectrum of care, from minimally-invasive procedures performed in our new state-of-the-art Endovascular Operating Room (EVOR) to proven surgical approaches and more.
Led by the vascular surgeons of Northeast Georgia Physicians Group and Longstreet Clinic, each patient will work directly with an experienced and fellowship-trained expert for their vascular care. From diagnosis, treatment plans and routine maintenance, our vascular surgeons are fully committed to your long-term vascular health. Plus, when undergoing a procedure, whether minimally-invasive or surgical, a specialized team of vascular clinicians works right alongside the surgeon to ensure the most efficient and effective care.
When it comes to the complexity of vascular diseases, it’s essential that patients receive care that’s both precise and customized. With access to the most innovative technology and devices, our experts have virtually unlimited capabilities. Performing thousands of procedures every year, NGHS is truly a leader in all forms of vascular care.
Vascular Conditions We Treat
The Vascular Surgery Program at NGHS is equipped to treat the complete range of vascular diseases, from routine and common conditions to the most complex and advanced.
While our surgeons work to identify and diagnose vascular conditions in their earliest and most treatable stages, there are many serious conditions that may become emergencies. With a top-of-the-line EVOR and dedicated vascular operating rooms, our surgeons are fully equipped to treat the following:
The aorta, which runs from the heart to the abdomen, is the main artery that carries blood away from the heart to supply the entire body. However, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, blood vessel disease and trauma can all cause damage to, or a weakening of, the aorta. Overtime, part of the aorta may begin to bulge or balloon, which is known as an aneurysm. The aneurysm will continue growing until it’s treated, but as it becomes larger the risk of it tearing or rupturing becomes greater. An aortic dissection (tear) or rupture may cause life-threatening internal bleeding, both are medical emergencies.
The brain is dependent on the carotid arteries, which are in the neck, for blood and oxygen. However, when there is plaque build-up in the carotid arteries, also known as atherosclerosis, it can reduce blood flow to the brain. Risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, family history and excess weight can all increase the likelihood of developing the disease. While carotid artery disease doesn’t typically cause symptoms, if it blocks blood flow to the
When the veins of the legs aren’t working as effectively as they should to return blood from the legs back to the heart.
Damage or weakening of veins can cause them to become twisted and/or swollen, which is common for arteries just under the skin and in the legs.
When blood pools in small veins near the surface of the skin, especially in the face and legs, this can cause thin lines or webs that are blue, purple or red in color to appear.
When a blood clot, or a thickened, semi-solid clump of blood, forms inside a vein that’s deep inside the body, this is known as a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This blood clot can cause swelling and cuts off blood flow to a certain part of the body, which is extremely dangerous. While DVTs often form in the leg, they can develop anywhere.
Atherosclerosis, or the build up of fatty plaque in the arteries, can occur throughout the body; however, when it affects the legs, stomach, arms and/or head, it’s known as peripheral artery disease (PAD). If left untreated, PAD can lead to coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke.
In late stage kidney failure, dialysis is used as a way to help filter the body’s blood or perform other functions of the kidneys. In some cases, hemodialysis access may be used to help this treatment process.
This occurs when the arteries that supply the kidneys or mesentery become stiff or narrowed due to atherosclerosis, which impacts blood flow.
In some cases, aortic aneurysms (see above for detailed description) can be especially complex, which is true for thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms. With this specific type of aneurysm, the aorta is expanded and bulging from the chest all the way down to the abdomen. With an extensive amount of the aorta affected and a difficult location, it requires highly-specialized and precise intervention.
This refers to several different disorders all of which occur when there’s compression of the nerves and blood vessels between your collar bone and ribs. Depending on the specific type, this can impact muscle movement and control, and cause chronic discomfort. There are a variety of different causes, including repetitive activity, trauma, poor posture and even pregnancy.
Depending on your condition and unique health needs, there are a variety of different treatment options that may be right for you.
In addition to medication and long-term condition management, NGHS’ vascular surgeons offer the most innovative endovascular procedures and approaches to surgical care. This means that you’ll receive vascular care that is more efficient and more effective, ensuring the best outcomes possible.
In addition to non-invasive services, medications and other therapies, we offer the following procedures:
Vascular ablations utilize different types of energy, either radiofrequency or laser, to treat and close varicose veins. This helps to effectively relieve and pain, swelling or irritation caused by large varicose veins.
This minimally-invasive procedure utilizes a specialized catheter, which is inserted through the leg, to loosen plaque build-up and help restore blood flow to the artery. Often times, a stent, which is small tube made of metal or plastic, is placed in the artery to ensure that the artery remains open with healthy blood flow. Angioplasty with stents are utilized to treat a variety of conditions, including carotid artery disease, renal and mesenteric artery disease and peripheral artery disease.
For those conditions that take place in larger blood vessels, like the aorta, a stent graft is used. A stent graft is inserted using the same minimally-invasive technique as a traditional stent, with a catheter; however, a stent graft is a larger synthetic tube that’s reinforced by metal mesh support. The stent graft is placed in the aorta wherever an aneurysm is located and it works to reinforce the weakened portion of the blood vessel to prevent future tearing or rupture of the aneurysm. Stent grafts can be used to treat abdominal, thoracic and thoracoabdominal aneurysms.
When peripheral artery disease limits blood flow or causes a blockage, bypass grafting is used to redirect blood flow. With the help of a specialized graft for reinforcement, one healthy blood vessel is connected to another healthy blood vessel, which reroutes blood flow and bypasses any unhealthy or diseased arteries.
This surgical procedure is done to treat carotid artery disease by removing the plaque build-up in your carotid arteries. This helps to restore healthy blood flow and reduces the risk of future stroke.
Using a traditional, open surgery approach, a stent graft is placed at the location of an aneurysm. The stent graft helps to reinforce the weakened portion of the aorta and limits future risk of tears or ruptures.
Using healthy arteries that supply the kidneys and mesentery, a bypass procedure reroutes blood flow from the aorta to these organs, while avoiding or bypassing diseased arteries.
This procedure creates a connection between an artery and vein, which is done to increase blood flow through that specific vein. In some cases the vein and artery are directly connected (a fistula) or a graft may be used for reinforcement, both are used to support hemodialysis treatment.
For ease of hemodialysis treatment, a catheter may be inserted into a vein in the neck, chest or groin and left in place.
Using a surgical approach varicose veins near the surface of skin are effectively removed using a small scalpel or needle.
Receiving Vascular Care at NGHS
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