Minimally Invasive Approaches to Vascular Disease


Sentara Vascular Specialists is committed to providing the most effective treatments for our patients with the least amount of discomfort and the fewest complications. Although the physicians at Sentara Vascular Specialists are seasoned experts in both open surgical and minimally invasive treatments, we prefer to take a minimally invasive approach whenever possible because of the benefits it can offer to our patients, including less pain, scarring, and recovery time, and decreased risk of infection and complication. More than 70 percent of our procedures are minimally invasive.

Open surgical procedures were once the first treatment option for many vascular conditions. That has changed. Conditions that once required open surgery can now be treated through minimally invasive approaches. Unlike open surgery, which requires large incisions to gain access to the surgical area, minimally invasive endovascular ("within the blood vessel") procedures typically use a tiny incision, and the surgeon inserts tiny medical instruments and cameras into long, thin tubes called catheters to complete complex procedures. Many endovascular procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis yet offer the same results as surgery making them a more attractive option.

We demonstrate our commitment to minimally invasive techniques through our investment in state-of-the-art facilities, which include endovascular suites at our hospitals. These sophisticated facilities enable our specialists to use minimally invasive approaches to treat a variety of vascular conditions — from the most straightforward to extremely complicated cases. We treat abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms in our Hybrid Operating Room at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

We use minimally invasive techniques to treat an array of vascular conditions including:

  • Endovascular stent graft for abdominal aortic aneurysm and thoracic aortic aneurysm
  • Endovascular repair of aortic dissection
  • Angioplasty for renal (kidney) artery stenosis (narrowing) and leg artery disease
  • Angioplasty and stenting for carotid artery disease
  • Thrombolysis for deep vein thrombosis
  • Venous ablation for varicose veins
  • Sclerotherapy for varicose veins

At Sentara Vascular Specialists, we frequently recommend minimally invasive procedures because we believe that in the majority of cases, they provide the most benefit to our patients. However, we also understand that both surgical and minimally invasive techniques are safe and effective. Each has its place and its suitability depends entirely on your unique circumstances. We will consider — and discuss — all of your treatment options in partnership with you and your family before arriving at the best treatment decision for you.

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