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Vascular Services

Vascular disease refers to the network of blood vessels that carry blood throughout the body. Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD, or sometimes referred to as Peripheral Vascular Disease or PVD) refers to a buildup of plaque on the lining of the arterial walls (atherosclerosis). These deposits can cause a narrowing of the arteries, and therefore decrease the blood flow through the arteries of the legs or arms. This can cause ischemia, or lack of blood supply and oxygenation to the muscles and tissue, most often in the legs and/or feet.

Risk factors for PAD include: hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, and being physically inactive.

If diagnosed with significant PAD the vascular anatomy must be evaluated. This is typically done with one or more types of vascular imaging, including ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI to specifically look at the circulation.

Most vascular interventions are performed in an outpatient setting and are done with local anesthetic and light sedation. This will be decided by your physician after discussing the options with you.

Washington Hospital performs more vascular interventions and surgeries than any other hospital in the area. Vascular intervention can enable limb salvage and thereby avoid amputation of toes, foot, and leg. As one of the busiest vascular centers in the Bay Area, Washington performs close to 1,000 procedures a year.

Transcarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR)

Carotid artery disease is a serious matter. Plaque build-up can block the carotid arteries, which are the blood vessels that deliver blood to the brain. The goal in treating is to prevent stroke.

Traditionally, there have been two approaches to treatment––carotid endarterectomy, and carotid angioplasty and stenting. Both are significant procedures. A few select hospitals, such as Washington Hospital, have vascular surgeons with the training and experience to perform a hybrid of these two traditional approaches.

It’s called a Transcarotid artery revascularization, or TCAR.

TCAR uses a different and safer approach to opening a blocked carotid artery. One small incision is made above the collar bone and the surgeon is able to access the carotid artery to clean the area and insert a stent. TCAR outcomes are very good, with less pain and faster recovery times. Most patients go home the following day.

TCAR is another example of why the Washington Hospital stroke and neuro intervention programs are highly acclaimed.

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