At North Orlando Surgical Group, we are proud to have established a unique surgical practice characterized by superior skills and extraordinary services both to the patient we care for as well as their referring physicians. We are recognized in Central Florida for our ability to perform complex procedures in the least invasive way. Our attentive staff is focused on providing the highest level of personal services and are committed to making every patient’s surgical experience as comfortable and convenient as it can be.
Atherosclerosis is a disease of the arteries, sometimes called hardening of the arteries. It occurs when narrowing develops from plaque and clot. Several factors can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis:
• High blood pressure
• High cholesterol
• Smoking cigarettes and the use of other tobacco/nicotine products
Symptoms of atherosclerosis can be cramping in your calves, thighs, or buttocks when walking distance, cold or discolored feet, wounds that won’t heal, or cold painful toe tips that wake you up at night. Your doctors will perform a pulse exam of your legs and order a lower extremity arterial ultrasound with pressures and waveforms in the presence of these symptoms. If you are found on ultrasound to have a narrowing in one of your arteries your surgeon will either order a CT angiogram or aortogram with runoff to evaluate the narrowing further.
A bypass is a procedure in which your surgeon will use a vein or tube to bypass the area of narrowing and provide an increase of blood flow to your legs. There are different bypasses that your surgeon can employ depending upon the location of you arterial disease. Bypasses are generally done as an inpatient. You may spend a couple of days in the hospital before being discharged home. It is recommended that you be up and walking right after surgery to encourage blood flow and avoid the formation of a blood clot.
A common option is a femoral to popliteal bypass. This involves attaching a graft from the femoral artery in the groin to the popliteal artery behind the knee. You will receive an incision in the groin and another at the knee. You will be asked to return to the office for follow up two weeks after surgery to check your incisions and do a pulse exam.
Another approach is a distal bypass. In this approach the surgeon will attach the graft or vein to one of the smaller arteries in the lower leg. Your surgeon will choose the best artery to attach to based on the images from your preoperative CTA or angiogram. You may have a longer incision for this procedure. This incision, is usually closed with staples which will be removed at your two week follow up.
Sometimes the doctor can offer a fem-fem bypass, which involves attaching a graft from the femoral artery in one groin to the femoral artery in the other groin. This is done in people whose disease is primarily in one groin and allows the normal flow from one groin to feed the opposite leg.
Atherosclerosis is a disease that can be difficult to treat. Patients who develop narrowing in their arteries usually have this type of disease in all of the blood vessels in their body. It can be a challenge to come up with a treatment plan due to this, which is why choosing a surgeon with experience and skill is so vitally important. The doctors here at North Orlando Surgical Group have this experience and skill, and are here to offer you their expertise to treat your pain and save your legs. If you have been diagnosed with atherosclerosis call our office for an appointment today!