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Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute 10 Mar 2023

Could I Benefit From Minimally Invasive Vascular Surgery?

Thanks to innovation in healthcare, alternatives to traditional open surgery are now available.

Being told that you need to have surgery can be a very worrying time.

If that surgery involves the heart or any of the major blood vessels in the body, then it will naturally cause you, and your loved ones, to be concerned. You may be anxious about risks associated with such major surgery, a lengthy stay in hospital, or the recovery afterwards.

But thanks to the many advances in medicine and innovation in technology in the last decade, lots of vascular surgeries can now be performed with a safer, minimally invasive approach.

What Does Minimally Invasive Vascular Surgery Mean?

Minimally invasive vascular surgery is called endovascular surgery. It involves inserting a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) with medication or tiny instruments through the skin and into the blood vessel.

During endovascular surgery, the surgeon will make tiny incisions to access the affected blood vessels, instead of larger cuts. As the incisions are smaller, it means that there is less pain, less risk of infection and smaller scars.

Such minimally invasive surgeries also lower the risk of bleeding and reduce the recovery time from the procedure – meaning a reduced hospital stay and a faster return to normal activities.

Some minimally invasive surgeries also use robotics. Surgical robots enhance the skills of the surgeon and allow procedures to be performed with even more control, precision, and flexibility, offering better outcomes for patients.

Who is a Candidate for Minimally Invasive Vascular Surgery?

Whether or not you are a candidate for minimally invasive surgery will depend on many factors, including the disease you have and the type of vascular surgery you need.

Vascular Surgeons at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute are among the most experienced and skilled in the region. As a result, the team can offer patients a wide range of innovative, minimally invasive surgical techniques.

The team carefully reviews each patient, considering their individual requirements, the advantages of a minimally invasive technique compared to a traditional one, and the best possible treatment option.

Some of the vascular procedures that have been transformed thanks to medical innovations, include:

Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

A traditionally open surgery which aims to restore normal blood flow to the heart in patients with coronary heart disease. A vein is taken from the chest or leg and is used to redirect blood from the aorta to the coronary artery. In some patients, catheter interventions can be combined with robotic surgery – called a Totally Endoscopic Coronary Artery Bypass (TECAB) – reducing the invasiveness and increasing the accuracy of the procedure.

Heart Valve Repair

Traditional approaches require a large incision down the middle of the chest to enable the surgeon to access the chest. Today, there are many innovative alternatives that are routinely performed on patients.

Catheter-based valve intervention allows the surgeon to insert catheters into the valve via small incisions in the groin or chest, offering less trauma and faster healing. One such example is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI), a minimally invasive procedure to replace a valve without removing the old, damaged valve.

Aortic Surgeries

In the past, aortic repairs could only be done via opening the chest. Nowadays, aortic aneurysm repair or Type B dissection (a tear) repair can be performed via minimally invasive catheter interventions in which a stent graft is placed from inside the artery. The aortic artery is accessed via the groin and the stent is placed near the repair site, expanding to seal off the tear and keeping the torn part of the artery open.

Endovenus Thermal Ablation

Offering an alternative to traditional surgery to remove varicose veins, this minimally invasive procedure uses lasers or thermo catheters to close diseased veins, rather than removing them surgically.

Talk to Your Vascular Surgeon

There are many minimally invasive options nowadays for patients facing vascular surgery. Find a surgeon who has the knowledge and experience to offer you the very latest treatment options. Discuss your options in detail and together, decide what is best for you.

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