Patients with established vascular disease often require intensive management that includes medications, surgery or other interventions. These procedures can be life and limb saving, but require diligent follow-up to ensure continued functionality. Even patients with established vascular disease who do not require interventions need long-term surveillance to be sure that their disease is not progressing.
Many centers treat vascular disease, but Renown Institute for Heart and Vascular Health expands the focus from simply managing the issue to preventing further progression of the disease in the long-term.
Thoracic Aorta Surveillance
Working with our cardiothoracic and vascular surgeons we have developed a system wide imaging protocol to monitor our patients with aortic aneurysms and dissections of the aorta in the chest.
Based on national guidelines, we use a combination of state of the art CT angiography, MR angiography and echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart) to make sure that diseases of the thoracic aorta are not progressing and any intervention remains stable.
Cerebrovascular and Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Surveillance
Blockages in the arteries in the neck (cerebrovascular disease) can lead to stroke. Blockages in the arteries of the legs (peripheral arterial disease or PAD) can lead to pain with walking and in advanced cases even poorly healing wounds and a risk of amputation. Using ultrasound techniques and other advanced imaging techniques, our team creates an individualized imaging strategy for each patient with known carotid disease.
Endovascular Aneurysm Repair (EVAR)
In the past, most aortic aneurysms and dissections were repaired with an open operation. New techniques allow physicians to treat aortic disease without surgery. During an EVAR procedure, the physician uses a catheter to place a stent graft (a small tube made of fabric and metal mesh) across the aneurysm to prevent it from expanding and rupturing. The stent graft is permanent and it diverts blood flow away from the aneurysm or dissection by creating a new path for blood flow inside the aorta.
These new techniques are potentially lifesaving, but also require long-term imaging plans to make sure the stent grafts remain stable. We created an imaging schedule for all patients who receive a stent graft so that we can monitor their success with a combination of ultrasound and CT angiography.