While atherosclerosis remains extremely common, the need for upper extremity intervention remains relatively small in comparison to the need for treatment in other parts of the body. While many people have atherosclerosis of the upper extremity, most are asymptomatic and do not require treatment. Symptoms usually include pain or weakness with extended use of the extremity. For people with subclavian steal syndrome this can also include dizziness with arm use. More commonly, patients with poorly functioning dialysis access need arterial intervention to improve their dialysis access blood flow.
The initial diagnostic test for those patients with suspected upper extremity arterial disease is an ultrasound. If this test is suggestive of stenosis your vascular surgeon will proceed with angiography. During an angiogram the surgeon uses a radio-opaque dye to image the blood vessels. The dye flows through the bloodstream and will demonstrate any abnormalities. Once the area of stenosis is identified, it can usually be repaired endovascularly. A wire is maneuvered past the area of stenosis. Then, a balloon is passed over the wire and inflated to expand the area of stenosis. The area is reimaged with contrast to evaluate the area of remaining stenosis. Often no other treatment is necessary. However, sometimes the artery does not adequately respond adequately and a stent is required for adequate treatment. The stent will help prop open the area of disease and prevent recoiling of the stenotic artery.
Factors affecting outcome include the technical abilities of the vascular surgeon, the location of the stenosis, and the technical capabilities of the facility and equipment. When patients are looking for a vascular surgeon to carry out this challenging procedure, they should find an esteemed vascular surgeon. Dr. Jenna Kazil is a great vascular surgeon in Bradenton, FL who sees patients at the Florida Surgical Clinic. Dr. Kazil has performed a wide variety of angioplasty cases and will take excellent care of all patients. Patients seeking an eminent Bradenton vascular surgeon should contact Dr. Kazil today.