Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a slow and progressive circulation disorder. It may involve disease in any of the blood vessels outside of the heart and diseases of the lymph vessels - the arteries, veins, or lymphatic vessels. Organs supplied by these vessels such as the brain, heart, and legs, may not receive adequate blood flow for ordinary function. However, the legs and feet are most commonly affected, thus the name peripheral vascular disease.
Minimally Invasive Procedures
At El Camino Hospital, our cardiovascular specialists are pioneering ways of treating PVD with minimally invasive bypass procedures.
Some people call it 'angioplasty on ice.' An El Camino Hospital interventional cardiologist, Dr. James Joye, developed this procedure to treat patients with peripheral vascular disease. This minimally invasive procedure has been highly successful in helping people with severe PVD avoid amputation.
Using a similar technique to balloon angioplasty, a catheter is threaded through the artery and inflated. But in cryoplasty, the balloon is filled with a nitrous oxide (laughing gas) that cools to ten degrees below zero. This freezes the plaque and kills the cells that otherwise cause scar tissue to form and the artery to close down again.
Early research is showing that patients have less risk of re-clogging the arteries with this procedure and may have less need for a stent in the future.
In this innovative procedure, pioneered by El Camino Hospital cardiologists, physicians use a special device with ultrasound that threads through the vein in the leg to detect the blockage. At the blockage, the physician punctures to the adjacent artery and threads a prosthetic tube to the other end of the blockage where it reconnects with the vein. The blood flow then bypasses the blockage in the vein.
Some studies have shown this procedure can achieve the same outcome as a conventional open bypass with only a skin puncture, no general anesthesia, and shorter recovery time.
Carotid artery stenting
El Camino Hospital is a leader in the western United States in this procedure, which as approved by the FDA in 2004. Physicians use a stent to open blocked arteries in the neck. the new stent is intended to prevent stroke by treating blockages in the carotid artery, the main blood vessel leading to the brain.
The device (the first of its kind) was approved for use in patients who have had symptoms of a stroke or whose carotid artery is at least 80 percent blocked, and who are not good candidates for the surgical alternative. Patients usually require only a local anesthesia.
Bypass surgery is a way of creating new channels to carry blood around the blocked areas in your peripheral arteries. With the patient under general anesthesia, doctors take a portion of a small blood vessel from the leg or chest to use as the new "bypass artery." They sew or "graft" one end of the bypass to the affected artery and the other end to the artery beyond the narrowed area. Blood then flows through the new grafted vessel, "bypassing" or avoiding the blockage in the peripheral artery.
Our physicians specialize in procedures that save limbs and help prevent amputation.