When Vascular Surgery Might Be Necessary

When Vascular Surgery Might Be Necessary

Your blood vessels carry blood, nutrients, and oxygen to every organ in your body, nourishing your cells and helping you function at your best. When your veins or arteries are damaged by disease or trauma, however, you may need vascular surgery to restore your circulation and your health.

Jeffrey Gosin, MD, an expert vascular surgeon, diagnoses and treats diseases of the veins and arteries at Shore Vascular and Vein Center in Somers Point, New Jersey. Whenever possible, Dr. Gosin chooses lifestyle interventions and noninvasive treatments. If you suffer from severe vascular disease, however, you may benefit from surgical intervention. 

Peripheral artery disease (PAD)

If you have peripheral artery disease (PAD), the vessels that carry blood to your legs have grown narrow and may even be blocked by the buildup of fat on the vessel walls. Fat that narrows your blood vessels is called plaque. Plaque can harden, which makes your vessels less flexible, too.

About 6.5 million women and men in the United States suffer from PAD. A classic symptom is pain in the legs after walking, but some PAD has no symptoms at all.

If your disease is too advanced for lifestyle interventions, such as quitting smoking or changing your diet, Dr. Gosin may recommend surgery. During your operation, he may dilate narrowed arteries with a balloon or by placing a stent that holds the vessel open. He may also shave away the plaque. In severe cases, he creates a graft with another blood vessel to reroute your circulation from the diseased part of the artery.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA)

The aorta is the largest blood vessel in your body, and it runs from your heart into your abdomen. An aneurysm develops when the aorta weakens and bulges outward. Aneurysms usually occur near the area where the aorta branches out, just under the kidneys.

Aneurysms grow slowly and may not cause symptoms. However, if an aneurysm breaks, it can cause a life-threatening internal bleed. Let Dr. Gosin know immediately if you experience the symptoms of an AAA, such as:

Sudden, severe pain in the abdomen is a warning that your aneurysm may have burst. If you have an AAA, Dr. Gosin may preemptively place a stent to strengthen the weakened aortic wall and prevent the aneurysm from breaking and endangering your life.

Carotid artery stenosis

You have two large carotid arteries, one on either side of your head and neck. Your carotid arteries carry blood from your heart to your head, face, and brain. If you have carotid artery stenosis, your carotid arteries have become dangerously narrowed.

Carotid artery stenosis may cause your arteries to become so narrow they’re completely blocked, which may lead to a stroke. The narrowing is usually caused by the buildup of plaque in the arterial walls.

To remove the plaque and restore your carotid arteries, Dr. Gosin may need to perform an endarterectomy. In this procedure, he opens up the artery to remove the plaque and may also remove a portion of the diseased artery. 

A less invasive approach involves dilating the artery with a balloon. The balloon is inserted through a catheter that’s threaded into your groin and pushed upward into the carotid artery. The balloon is inflated to open up the artery again, and then removed.

Venous reflux

Varicose veins are a sign of a type of vascular disease called venous reflux. If you have varicose veins, the blood vessels that carry deoxygenated blood from your legs to your lungs and heart are weak and dysfunctional. The valves in the veins that are supposed to push your blood forward have failed.

Over time, the weakened, broken valves allow blood to flow backward into your veins, a condition known as venous reflux. The pooled blood causes your veins to swell, bulge, and twist, which is why varicose veins are so visible.

While your varicose veins may respond to less invasive therapies, including laser therapies, in severe cases you may need surgery. Dr. Gosin removes the damaged veins so your circulation can reroute itself and move forward again.

If your circulation has slowed down, or if you have unexplained pain or fatigue in your legs, schedule a vascular disease consultation and treatment, including possible vascular surgery, today. Call us at 609-297-5992, or use the handy online contact form to request an appointment.

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