Expert vascular surgeons at the University of Miami Health System perform the latest vascular reconstruction procedures to ensure proper blood flow after blood vessels are damaged from certain cancers, injuries or arterial diseases. Vascular reconstruction uses either synthetic grafts or blood vessels from other areas of your body to recreate damaged blood vessels and restore blood flow.
You may need vascular reconstruction if you experience:
- Critical limb ischemia
- A severe limb injury
- Soft tissue sarcomas
- Pancreatic cancer surgery
These conditions can damage blood vessels to the point that they need replaced.
What to Expect
Before your vascular reconstruction procedure, you may need imaging tests, such as X-rays with contrast dye, so that your surgeon can examine your blood vessels and create a personalized surgical plan. You may also need blood tests to check how your blood clots.
For your procedure, you will be asleep under general anesthesia. Because of the anesthesia, you will need to avoid eating or drinking for eight hours before your procedure. You will also need someone to drive you home after your procedure.
Your vascular surgeon may approach vascular reconstruction in different ways depending on your needs. They may use a minimally invasive endovascular approach or perform an open procedure.
For an endovascular approach, your surgeon will use live X-ray images to guide a wire from an incision in your groin, neck or wrist to the blocked blood vessel. They will then place a thin tube (catheter) over the wire. They will pass a mesh tube (stent) through the catheter and into the area where blood flow is blocked. The stent will keep the blood vessel open.
For an open procedure, your surgeon will make an incision above the blocked blood vessel. They will then sew on a graft, either from your own tissue or mesh, both above and below the blocked area. This allows blood to flow around the blockage.
Vascular reconstruction may also involve removing parts of the blood vessel, for instance those surrounded by cancer, and replacing them totally with a graft. Your surgeon will use very thin and small sutures to sew the graft into place.
Your procedure may take a few hours depending on the complexity. Once it is complete, your surgeon will close up any incisions. You will wake up in the post-anesthesia care unit where you may need to lie still and flat for an hour or more. You will receive pain medicines to keep you comfortable.
You may be able to go home the same day as your procedure or may need to remain in the hospital to recover for a few days. Your surgeon will help you know what to expect for your specific procedure.
Why Choose UHealth?
Leading-edge imaging care in South Florida. Our doctors are also researchers discovering new ways to improve diagnosis and treatment. That means you can get some of today’s most promising advancements through clinical trials. You benefit from the latest developments that are fast-tracked from the lab to the bedside.
Advanced, hard-to-find procedures. Our doctors are committed to caring for every patient. That’s why they offer the latest treatments, including limb salvage, endovascular grafting and thoracic outlet decompression, to improve your blood flow.
All the care you need, from one physician. Our vascular surgeons perform a wide range of procedures so you can have the same physician for any vascular care you need as your condition changes. Whether you need a stent replaced or a vein grafted, you can always turn to the doctor you trust.
Experienced doctors, reliable results. UHealth vascular surgeons perform hundreds of stent placements, angiograms and more every year. You can rely on their experience to help you avoid complications and have a positive outcome.