Vascular Surgical Services

  • Vascular surgery teams at Memorial University Medical Center specialize in the following procedures.

    Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair
    An aneurysm is a weakened part of a blood vessel that expands like a balloon. When an aneurysm forms in the main blood vessel in your stomach, it is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). A small aneurysm requires no treatment other than regular check-ups to make sure it doesn’t grow. If an aneurysm reaches a certain size, however, treatment is often necessary. An AAA can be repaired with an open surgical procedure or through endovascular repair (a minimally invasive procedure that requires smaller incisions and often entails a shorter recovery time).

    Arteriovenous (AV) Shunt Insertion
    Arteriovenous (AV) shunt insertion is necessary for people who must have hemodialysis treatments due to kidney failure. Vascular surgeons implant two rubber tubes made of Teflon and silicon, usually in the lower leg or wrist. One tube is attached to an artery and the other is attached to a vein. The tubes protrude from the skin and are connected together. During hemodialysis, the tubes are disconnected and attached to the dialysis machine.

    Carotid Endarterectomy
    In this procedure, vascular surgeons remove plaque that has built up in the carotid artery in the neck. After the plaque is removed, the artery is stitched shut, restoring normal blood flow to the brain. Learn more about carotid endarterectomy.

    Femoral Popliteal Bypass Graft
    The purpose of this procedure is to remove plaque that has built up in the femoral artery (in the upper part of the leg) and popliteal artery (around the knee). Surgeons open the leg and remove a piece of vein from another part of the limb. They attach one part of the good vein above the blocked artery, and another part below it. This allows blood to be re-routed around the blocked area. In some cases, surgeons use a graft or artificial vein instead of a natural vein to create the bypass. Learn more about femoral popliteal bypass.

    Peripheral Bypass Surgery
    Peripheral bypass surgery is used to restore blood flow to the legs. During the surgery, a graft is stitched into the artery above and below the blockage. The blocked area is usually not removed, just “bypassed.” After the graft is in place, the incisions are closed with stitches or staples. The severity of the incision depends on where the blockage is located.

    Vein Stripping
    Vein stripping is an outpatient procedure to treat varicose veins. It involves the removal of an entire vein in one piece. After the vein stripping surgery, the legs are bandaged and may remain swollen for six to eight weeks.