Vascular and Endovascular Disorders - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Vascular Disorders

Vascular disorders affect the body’s intricate system of blood vessels.Vascular disorders affect the body’s intricate system of blood vessels, and can range from life-threatening emergencies to chronic, disabling diseases.

For patients suffering with certain vascular problems, finding the right specialist is literally a matter of life and limb. The experts at the Crozer-Keystone Health System can diagnose the problem, help you choose the right treatment option and help you achieve the best possible results.

Crozer-Keystone Health System's vascular and endovascular specialists treat the following vascular disorders:

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is an enlargement or ballooning of the aorta, the main artery of the chest and abdomen caused by progressive weakening of the artery wall. An AAA can grow slowly within your abdomen, often without any symptoms.

Some aneurysms will stay small and may never rupture, however others can grow very quickly. A ruptured aortic aneurysm can lead to life-threatening internal bleeding.

Approximately 3/4 of all AAA are asymptomatic, but some aneurysms will cause sudden onset of severe pain in the back and/or abdomen or a pulsing sensation, similar to a heartbeat, in the abdomen.

Diagnosis: Specialists can diagnose this life-threatening condition using non-invasive outpatient exams such as ultrasound or a CT scan.

Treatment: Treatment requires surgical replacement of the weakened part of the aorta with a graft made of durable surgical fabric. In carefully selected patients, the physician may use the less invasive stent-grant procedure, inserting the graft through the arteries of the lower extremity and guiding it into place using X-ray. For other patients, open surgery is the best option.

Carotid Artery Disease

The carotid arteries are the main blood vessels to the brain. If these arteries develop a build-up of plaque and are hardened by atherosclerosis, blood flow to the brain is impaired. A severe plaque build-up may result in a stroke.

Diagnosis: Specialists can usually diagnose this disorder using ultrasound, or other non-invasive outpatient exams.

Treatment: To prevent stroke, many patients with severe plaque benefit from surgical reconstruction of the carotid artery with an operation called carotid endarterectomy. We can perform this surgery through a small neck incision, in some cases under local anesthesia. Angioplasty and stenting of carotid artery disease is a rapidly emerging new alternative to carotid endarterectomy for high-risk patients.

Peripheral Vascular Disease

Peripheral vascular disease affects circulation in the legs and feet, often resulting in pain and disability. It is most often caused by atherosclerosis, which narrows the blood vessels. This disorder is associated with smoking, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

Diagnosis: We diagnose this disorder using history, physical examination, and non-invasive testing in the vascular laboratory.

Treatment: In some cases, this condition will improve with medication, regular exercise, and control of blood pressure and diabetes. However, patients with severe peripheral vascular disease may require more aggressive treatment to prevent loss of a limb. At Crozer-Keystone, we help patients choose the least invasive solutions that will fix their problem. This often means using balloon angioplasty and stenting to open up blood vessels. When this is not feasible, surgical bypass may be required.

Vein Disorders

Vascular surgeons are also experts in the management of disorders of veins, including chronic venous insufficiency, varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis. The surgeon provides comprehensive care, including the most minimally invasive therapies and chooses the best therapy for each individual patient.

Dialysis Access

Patients with advanced renal disease who receive kidney dialysis require a connection between the bloodstream and the dialysis machine. The surgeon will work with a specialist in kidney disease to choose the best type of dialysis access for each patient.

Wound Management

Difficult wounds of the limbs may result from vascular disease. Specialists work with the patients’ primary care physicians to care for these wounds and prevent complications. For more information about wound management and hyperbaric medicine, visit the wound healing services. Read additional info about Wound Healing.