Endovascular surgical techniques
Endovascular surgery is a rapidly developing branch of vascular surgery. It evolved from the diagnostic techniques used to investigate damage to blood vessels caused by atherosclerosis or injury.
Endovascular surgery is highly skilled and complex. Two main procedures are used:
- Angioplasty with stenting: this is the main technique used to treat blockages in arteries caused by the build up of fatty plaques due to atherosclerosis. The technique can be applied to any of the main arteries such as leg artery angioplasty with stenting.
- Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR): the endovascular method is used to repair aneurysms. The technique can be applied to any aneurysm whether it affects the main aorta or one of the other main arteries.
Leg artery angioplasty with stenting
Endovascular surgeons use angioplasty with stenting to open up blockages in the arteries that supply blood to the legs and other parts of the body. Blocked arteries in the legs cause pain in the muscles on walking, a condition called intermittent claudication.
The endovascular technique used to treat intermittent claudication involves introducing a catheter into the femoral artery in the groin and then manipulating it through the blood vessels into the artery that is blocked.
Once in place, a small balloon at the end of the catheter is expanded to open up the blocked part of the artery so blood can flow freely through it. A stent, which is a fine, spring-like metal cage, may be left in place to support the artery wall to prevent the lumen of the blood vessel narrowing again. Similar techniques may be used to treat carotid arteries, which provide the blood supply to the brain. Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) in the abdominal aorta.
Further information about the aorta
The aorta is the main artery that carries blood from the heart to all parts of the body. Our blood is pressurised just like air in a car tyre – this is what is measured when our blood pressure is taken. An aortic aneurysm is a bulge in the wall of the aorta, like a bulge in a car tyre. Unless it is fixed, the pressure inside it may cause it to burst which can be fatal.
Endovascular treatment of this condition uses catheters introduced into the abdominal aorta through the femoral artery in the groin. Images from live X-rays guide the endovascular surgeon to be able to place the catheters into the aneurysm, the point where the wall of the artery is bulging out.
A special catheter, called an introducer sheath, carries with it an endovascular stent graft, or endograft. This is a tube made from a fabric-like material that is reinforced by a scaffold of metal springs or stents. The stents, which are compressed within the introducer sheath, open up as the endograft is deployed to form the tube.
Once in place, the top and bottom of the endograft make a seal with the normal aorta above and below the aneurysm. This forms an inner tube through which the blood flows and blood can no longer enter the aneurysm. This stops the wall bulging any further and eliminates the risk of rupture.
Why choose The London Clinic
Excellence in one place
We operate as teams of experts with world-class resources dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of medical care. You are surrounded by the latest treatments and advice with everything you need to get back to your best health.
Personal care, every time
Exceptional patient care is a way of life for us. Our nurses, clinicians and support teams are dedicated to the care of a very small number of patients, so have more time for you. They’ll be with you every step of the way, tailoring your care around you and giving the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you’re in the best hands.
We work together as one to guide you through each step of your experience, with complexities unravelled and answers readily to hand. Your personal treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.
What's included in your package?
Choosing The London Clinic means your treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.
Your treatment package will include:
- Enhanced pre-admission assessment
- Your treatment with our complete care team at your fingertips
- Personalised aftercare and follow-up
We want you to be in control of your health. That’s why we also offer optional services such as comprehensive recovery packages and extra touches for you to choose from during your stay with us.
How to pay
- You can use private medical insurance (PMI) to access this treatment. We work with all major PMI providers in the UK and many internationally
- You can pay for yourself (self-pay)
- If you’re paying for yourself, we have finance options available with Chrysalis