Your body is fed by a network of arteries and veins. With the exception of the Pulmonary Artery, all of your arteries are larger tubes that let blood travel away from your heart. This blood has just been filled with oxygen and nutrients, the fuel source for your entire body. As blood travels around your body, it deposits fuel and picks up your body’s trash, like carbon dioxide and it disperses into veins which are smaller than arteries and have the job of carrying blood back to your lungs to be refilled with oxygen, shipped to your heart and pumped back out again. A single droplet of blood will make this complete tour of your body every minute.
In order for the pump to work properly, the tubes have to be able to be elastic enough to withstand the pressure of the pump of blood, but they can’t become saggy or blood will accumulate in your extremities – not returning properly to your lungs. If veins or arteries have stretched or weak spots develop or they become clogged or lose their elasticity, surgery is needed to eliminate or circumvent the area that is diseased. In areas outside the intracranial and coronary arteries, specialized vein surgeons will surgically treat arterial, venous and lymphatic system concerns. Some vascular conditions will occur only in arteries, while others occur only in veins. There are some disease processes that will effect both arteries and veins.
TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR)
The Surgical Clinic is pioneering the use of a breakthrough technology called TransCarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR) to treat patients with carotid artery disease who are at risk for open surgery. While any repair of the carotid artery carries some risk of causing a stroke because of the repair itself, TCAR was designed to help minimize that risk by keeping potential stroke causing fragments away from the brain.
Like the open surgery, carotid endarterectomy (CEA), this new procedure involves direct access to the carotid artery, but through a much smaller incision at the neckline just above the clavicle instead of a longer incision on the neck. During the TCAR procedure, a tube inserted into the carotid artery is connected to a system that temporarily directs blood flow away from the brain to protect against dangerous debris from reaching the brain during the procedure. Surgeons then filter the blood before returning it to a vein in the groin, and a stent is implanted directly into the carotid artery to stabilize the plaque and prevent future strokes. The entire procedure is performed in less than half the time of CEA – limiting the stress on the heart and significantly cutting the risk of the patient having a stroke or heart attack during the procedure.
Patients who undergo the TCAR procedure recover quickly (typically spending just one night in the hospital) and almost always go home the next day to return to full and productive lives with less pain, smaller scars and a reduced risk of future strokes.
Your physician may recommend the TCAR procedure if you’ve been diagnosed with carotid artery disease and are not a suitable candidate for CEA. This may depend on your age or other existing medical conditions. For more information about TCAR, call us to schedule a consultation with one of our vascular surgeons.
For more information about the TCAR procedure and essential prescribing information, please visit http://silkroadmed.com/ifus/. For more information about carotid artery disease and the risks involved with any intervention (e.g. bleeding, death, myocardial infarction, restenosis, stroke, TIA, vessel dissection, vessel occlusion, etc.), please visit http://silkroadmed.com/disease-and-treatment-options/.
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Lower Extremity Amputation
Vascular ultrasound and physiologic vascular procedures are booked for The Surgical Clinic patients in the Vascular Laboratory. This convenient and comfortable settings allow Registered Vascular Technologists (RVTs) to evaluate the blood supply to and from various parts of the body. This information is obtained without any invasive procedures. After an appointment, you will, therefore, be able to return to your regular schedule of activities. It is important to point out that your care will be delivered by a professional with an RVT certification. The RVT certification, not required in many labs, is the standard at The Surgical Clinic’s labs and helps to assure you that your tests are being conducted by people specialized in these diagnostic procedures.
The Surgical Clinic understands that many times patients will want to get things moving as fast as possible. Vascular Labs are part of The Surgical Clinic in the convenient locations of St. Thomas West, Downtown Clinic, Summit, Mid-South Surgeons (Columbia), Skyline and all three of the Vein Centres at Belle Meade, Mt Juliet and Cool Springs. These locations allow you to access advanced laboratory professionals without the congestion of a hospital setting. While appointments are required, it is often possible to make a ‘same-day’ appointment. Your test results will be sent to your Surgeon to help determine a recommended course of treatment.
The state-of-the-art laboratory is accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission and each of the RVT’s are registered through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).
Physiologic (Non-Imaging) Testing
Arterial Doppler with Treadmill
Vascular Health Screening