GUWAHATI, July 10 � The latest advances and innovations in technology have made it possible to treat vascular diseases with minimally invasive procedures, said Dr V Balaji, senior vascular and transplant surgeon of Apollo Hospitals, Chennai.
Also an adjunct professor in the TN MGR Medical University, Dr Balaji, who was in the city recently, however added that awareness on vascular diseases has to be increased among the people so that a patient reaches a medical expert at the initial stage itself for proper treatment.
�The patients often come to us very late when complications multiply,� he said, adding, the awareness among people about such complicacies is so low that they don�t even bother to visit a medical professional. Dr Balaji said vascular surgery, the field of medicine that specializes in the diseases of blood vessels, has today made rapid advances and �we are now able to treat majority of such patients by endovascular or minimally invasive procedures.�
Blood vessels in the human body are of two types � arteries and veins. While the former carry good blood from the heart to various parts of the body, the latter carry bad blood from various parts of the body back to the heart. Diseases of the arteries are commonly blockage due to fat deposits or swelling of the artery wall called aneurysm, the risk factors being smoking or use of tobacco, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, etc.
Traditionally all these major ailments were treated by open surgery, but thanks to the latest technology, such cases can be treated with endovascular procedures done through a pin hole in the artery through which a balloon or a stent is placed, opening up the blockages so that blood flow becomes normal. Similarly, aneurysms are also treated preventing further enlargement and death due to rupture, he said.
The blockage of blood vessels going to the brain, which may result in life-threatening stroke or paralysis, can also be cleared by �a surgery which is now being done under local anaesthesia,� Dr Balaji said.
Another common disease affecting the veins is enlargement called varicose veins. These are especially common in women and most of them suffer in silence �thinking that there is no cure or an operation will put them out of action for a long time.� But now the treatment involves only a thin wire passed into the vein in a procedure called �radio frequency closure fast�. �It�s a day care procedure and can be finished in less than 45 minutes,� said the vascular surgeon.