UF Health Vascular Surgery – Jacksonville provides high quality,
state-of-the-art medical care for diseases and conditions affecting the blood vessels
(arteries and veins) throughout the body except for those within the
heart and brain.
Patient care is focused on prevention, diagnostic and therapeutic interventions
and post-intervention follow-up. All modes of therapy are provided for those patients
with vascular disease. These include medical management, surgical procedures and
By incorporating interventional radiology with traditional surgery, the vascular
surgeons provide a broad spectrum of open surgery and endovascular (minimally invasive)
procedures to treat a wide range of diseases involving the peripheral arteries and
veins. Through the use of grafts or using the patient's own arteries or veins, it
may be possible to bypass a diseased blood vessel to restore normal blood flow to
the affected area. Common examples include:
Acute arterial or venous thrombosis
Thrombosis is the technical term for the formation of blood clots in arteries and
veins. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) may occur after surgery or after long periods
of sedentary activity. Acute blood clot formation in an artery may lead to organ
or limb loss if not treated immediately.
Aneurysm repair (open and endovascular)
An aneurysm is an out-pouching or abnormal bulge in a blood vessel caused by weakening
of the wall of the vessel. Aneurysms most often occur in the aorta, the largest
artery in the body. The aorta carries blood from the heart and is located in both
the abdomen and thorax (chest). It is necessary to repair aneurysms to prevent them
from rupturing. Repairs can be done with an open (surgical) or endovascular technique.
The vascular surgeons also repair aneurysms in the blood vessels of the extremities,
kidneys, liver, spleen and other abdominal areas.
Angioplasty (with or without stent)
Angioplasty is a technique where veins and arteries are manually widened to improve
blood flow. There are two ways to perform angioplasty. The first method involves
the use of a balloon-like instrument. It is inserted into the affected artery or
vein and it is inflated to open the vessel. A second technique is to surgically
repair the affected vessel. A stent is a metal scaffold that may also be inserted
to help hold open narrowed vessels following angioplasty.
When the aorta becomes blocked (from atherosclerotic plaque, for example), it is
often necessary to bypass the blockage. The femoral artery in the groin is often
used to accomplish this, to achieve improvement in blood flow.
In this procedure, the axillary artery of the arm is used to supply blood to the
femoral arteries in the groin.
The carotid artery is the large blood vessel in the neck that supplies blood to
the brain. If a blockage occurs in the carotid, the best treatment is surgical removal
of the plaque to fully reopen the vessel and help prevent a stroke.
Dialysis is the process of cleansing of the blood for patients with end stage kidney
disease. To perform dialysis, blood must be transported outside of the body to a
machine. In order to access the blood, grafts and fistulas are surgically created.
Endovascular stent graft placement
Endovascular stent graft placement offers patients a minimally invasive means to
treat aneurysms of the abdominal and thoracic aorta. These stent grafts are placed
through a small incision in the groin area and avoid major operations on the abdomen
and chest. Patients can often avoid prolonged stays in intensive care and go home
in one to days days after treatment.
Femoral arteries in the groin supply blood flow to the legs. Blockages in one femoral
artery may be bypassed by accessing the other leg's femoral artery.
In this type of bypass, blood flow is rerouted from the femoral arteries in the
groin to the popliteal arteries above or below the knee.
Mesenteric vessel bypass
Mesenteric arteries supply blood to the small intestine (superior mesenteric artery)
and to the large intestine (inferior mesenteric artery). When mesenteric vessels
become blocked, bypass surgery is performed to treat the problem.
Subclavian artery bypass and reconstruction
The subclavian artery supplies blood to the arms and head. It is located in the
chest (thorax). When the subclavian vessels become blocked or diseased, bypass or
reconstructive surgery is performed.
Varicose veins occur in the legs and may become raised and noticeable. The varicose
veins are often uncomfortable and aesthetically displeasing to the patient. Injection
into the vein, called sclerotherapy, is a common treatment. The veins also can be
“stripped” or removed surgically.
Vena caval filters
To prevent a blood clot (embolism) from moving from the blood vessels into the heart
and lungs, a filter may be inserted into the large vessels. The permanent or removable
filters trap emboli before they cause serious damage.
Diagnostic Procedures and Evaluations
The patient will undergo a complete history and physical examination. Screening
studies may be performed and include duplex scan, segmental vascular studies, computed
tomography (CT) scan and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). When the evaluation
is complete, the vascular surgeon will discuss the diagnosis and treatment choices,
including the risks and benefits of any proposed procedure. This may be followed
by endovascular therapy or open vascular surgery.
What to expect
Patient-focused care should be expected. The vascular surgeon will go over the evaluation
results and proposed treatment. Since patients may differ significantly in their
general health status, it is not possible to state specific expectations. The vascular
surgeon will review the proposed procedure and may obtain additional medical consultation
to ensure the patient is suitable candidate for surgery.