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Presbyterian Heart and Vascular Care Providers

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Open Vascular Surgical Repair

Open vascular surgical repair is surgery of the vascular system (arteries, veins, and lymphatic circulation). It can repair problems in the vascular system caused by trauma, congenital heart defects, or damaging lifestyle choices, such as smoking.

This approach is often contrasted with endovascular revision. Whereas endovascular revision is performed inside the blood vessels using skinny tubes called catheters, open vascular surgery involves opening the body and blood vessels.

Because it is more invasive, open vascular surgical repair also requires full anesthesia. It is usually reserved for certain conditions, such as abdominal aortic aneurysms, thoracic aneurysms, and femoral and popliteal aneurysms. Endovascular revision usually only requires local anesthesia and is done on an outpatient basis.

Why choose Presbyterian for your vascular surgical repair?

Presbyterian Heart and Vascular Care has a skilled vascular care team who can provide a wide range of services from diagnosis to treatment. Their surgeons are trained in many different techniques and procedures, many of which can provide you with a shorter recovery period and less hospital time.

Who is eligible for a vascular surgical repair?

Vascular surgeons treat patients with complex and serious conditions of the blood vessels and lymphatic system. Tests that are used to diagnose vascular problems include:

  • Blood tests.

  • Ultrasound.

  • Ankle-brachial index (ABI).

  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA).

  • Computerized tomography angiography (CTA).

  • Angiography. Angiography involves injecting dye into the arteries to identify a clogged or blocked artery.

What conditions can be treated with a vascular surgical repair?

Examples of conditions that are usually treated with open vascular surgery, not endovascular revision, include:

  • Acute limb ischemia.

  • Peripheral artery disease.

  • Carotid stenosis and stroke.

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysms.

  • Aortic dissection / thoracic aortic dissection / thoracic aortic aneurysm.

How do I prepare for a vascular surgical repair?

Before surgery, your doctor will perform a complete physical examination to make sure you don’t have any conditions that could interfere with the surgery or the outcomes. Routine tests, such as blood tests and X-rays, are usually performed a week before any major surgery.

What should I expect during my vascular surgical repair?

How open vascular surgery is performed depends on the disease itself, the patient, and the urgency of your condition. Ask your doctor how the procedure will be done, so you are prepared.

  • Discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery. For example, if you are taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications or blood thinners, or any drugs that increase the risk of bleeding, you will need to stop taking them one week before surgery to minimize bleeding.
  • If you smoke, you should stop or cut down to improve your recovery.
  • Have any tooth, gum, bladder, or bowel problems treated before surgery to reduce the risk of infection later.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet, supplemented by a daily multivitamin with iron.
  • Report any infections to your surgeon. Surgery should not be performed until all infections have cleared up.
  • Arrange for someone to help out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping, and laundry.

How do I care for myself after my vascular surgical repair?

You are ready to leave the hospital. Here are some guidelines suggested by your surgical team. These guidelines will provide answers to your questions and give you something to refer to at home.