The vascular system includes a network of vessels for transporting blood to and from organs, muscles and other tissue throughout the body. The cardiovascular surgeons at Houston Methodist are highly skilled and experienced, utilizing techniques of extreme precision that these delicate arteries and veins require.
Equipped with robotic, laparoscopic and other cutting-edge imaging, Houston Methodist patients are sure to receive the most advanced care available. With extensive research capabilities, Houston Methodist remains a leader in vascular surgery. Our surgeons use stent grafts and hybrid techniques, combining the latest imaging technology and less-invasive treatments, to treat the most complex conditions, such as aneurysms and dissections.
Endovascular and Vascular Treatments
Commonly treated vascular conditions at Houston Methodist include the following:
Endovascular and Vascular Surgery Procedures
Common endovascular and vascular surgery procedures include the following:
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) stenting, in which a physician uses a catheter to insert a graft inside the patient's artery to support weakened areas in the aorta, the largest artery in the body; the aorta is responsible for blood supply from the heart to the rest of the body. As blood flow travels through the aorta, pressure builds against the walls of the blood vessel. If the walls are weakened because of AAA, they may bulge and burst, causing serious problems.
- Carotid stenting, the insertion of a small metal tube known as a stent to widen the carotid artery (the vessel responsible for blood flow to the brain) if it has been hindered by plaque buildup. During the procedure, the physician localizes narrow, weak blood vessels by injecting a dye into the veins, performing a fluoroscopy (a test providing a live X-ray image) to detect blockage in the veins. This helps guide the physician in proper placement of the carotid stent.
- Peripheral angioplasty, which treats arterial blockage and narrowing through the insertion of a small balloon. When this procedure is performed on major arteries other than the coronary artery, it is known as peripheral angioplasty. It is often used to treat peripheral vascular disease (PVD), which affects more than two million people in the United States. PVD is caused by atherosclerosis, which is a process where fat, cholesterol and calcium build up on the walls of the arteries, reducing the proper flow of blood to essential parts of the body such as the brain, heart and lungs.
- Creation of arteriovenous fistulas, or connections between artery and vein in order to plump the vein and make its walls thicker to aid patients who will require dialysis.
- Vein stripping, to treat enlarged veins and to alleviate circulatory problems caused by varicose veins, leg pain, feelings of heaviness or tiredness, ulceration of the skin and sores and blood clots (especially those prone to travel to the lungs, heart or brain). The surgeon inserts a thin, plastic instrument that looks like a tube into the vein and then pulls the vein out. This all takes place under the skin and all the incisions are small. Multiple veins can be treated in one procedure.
- Venous ablation, used as treatment for venous reflux in legs, which is a condition characterized by insufficient blood flow from the legs back to the heart. It can cause anything from varicose veins to severe pain and ulceration of the skin.
Other Heart Treatments
Houston Methodist physicians suggest many treatments for patients with concerns about heart health. Learn about other methods for dealing with cardiac concerns: