Although there are many conditions that can benefit from the field of vascular and interventional radiology, some conditions are more impactful to patients than others. Due to the minimally invasive nature of this field, life and limb saving procedures are performed with fewer acute and long-term risks.
Mesenteric And Limb Ischemia
Ischemia occurs when a blood vessel is blocked and organs receive little or no oxygen and nutrient from the blood. Some of the most widely recognized forms of ischemia include blockages that lead to stroke and heart attacks. Other forms of ischemia exist, such as blockage of arteries supplying the kidneys and other abdominopelvic organs and arterial blockages that supply blood to the legs.
There are several procedures that can be used to help restore blood flow to the affected region. One is removal of a blood clot that may be obstructing an artery. During the procedure angiography is used to find the exact location of the clot. Under visual guidance, a guide wire can be threaded through a major artery in the groin and the clot is grabbed and removed. If the patient will be admitted to the hospital for several days, a "clot catcher" may be inserted due to their increased risk of forming new clots while confined to the bed.
Blocked Coronary Arteries
Fortunately, improved symptom recognition and diagnosis of coronary artery blockages means an angioplasty can be performed before a heart attack occurs. When the coronary arteries are blocked, it is typically due to the formation of plaques. Since these types of blockages cannot be removed, a balloon is inflated at the site of the blockage and inflated. The inflated balloon helps to press the plaque against the side of the arterial wall, thereby improving blood flow. To keep the artery open, a stent is placed. The stent is threaded through the groin until it reaches the site of the plaque. Once it is in place, it is enlarged to help keep the blood vessel open.
Aortic Dissections And Aneurysms
Thoracic aortic dissections and aneurysms are a medical emergency. Unfortunately, a spontaneous rupture means there is little time between the development of obvious symptoms and rupture. For those who make it to the hospital before rupture, making an accurate diagnosis quickly increases the likelihood of a survivable thoracic aortic dissection or aneurysm. When problems with the thoracic aorta are detected early, a minimally invasive approach is an option to place a stent or graft, reducing further damage to the aorta. In the case of abdominal aortic aneurysms, minimally invasive techniques are more likely to be an option because they rarely require emergency surgery. By using a minimally invasive approach, patients have fewer post-operative complications and recovery time is greatly reduced.
With the body's vast network of blood vessels, there are many vascular-related conditions that may occur. Fortunately, advances in vascular and interventional radiology have greatly improved the diagnosis and treatment of many life-threatening conditions. For more information, contact local professionals like DeSoto Memorial Hospital.