At Mercy Health System, we offer comprehensive vascular care for patients with vascular conditions. Our vascular surgeons, cardiologists, interventional radiologists, technicians and registered nurses take a team approach to vascular care. We're highly experienced in the latest technology for screening and diagnostic procedures, advanced treatment and surgical techniques (including minimally invasive procedures), dialysis access procedures, and customized rehabilitation.
With compassion, skill and respect, our vascular specialists answer patients’ questions, educate them about their conditions, and help them understand their treatment options. We're able to safely and effectively diagnose and treat a range of conditions including: aneurysms, complications of diabetes, renal artery disease, thrombosis, cardiac arrhythmia, uterine fibroids, peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and other vascular problems.
Through vascular disease management, we help patients learn how to use medications and life style changes, such as smoking cessation, diet and exercise, to control and manage vascular disease.
Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital
Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital offers a continuum of vascular care including non-invasive and invasive vascular diagnostic testing, and minimally invasive alternatives to surgery.
Vascular procedures include, but are not limited to, vascular ultrasound, peripheral angiography, peripheral angioplasty, stent placement and thrombectomy.
Mercy Fitzgerald has three interventional labs that are used for peripheral vascular procedures, including:
- Two cardiac catheterization labs available around the clock, equipped with the latest imaging technology. With improved image clarity, the technology allows the catheterization team to better view coronary and peripheral vessels, especially very small vessels associated with peripheral vascular procedures.
- An interventional radiology lab is also used for peripheral vascular procedures by interventional radiologists. This lab has advanced technology that provides optimal imaging quality, increased patient weight limit to 500 pounds, lower radiation and faster procedure times.
Mercy Philadelphia Hospital
The Vascular Center at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital offers patients a state-of-the-art resource in Endovascular procedures for minimally invasive vascular diagnosis, cardiac therapy and endovascular therapy services. The Center features 3-dimensional reconstruction imaging and minimally invasive alternatives to surgery for patients with Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD), Thrombosis, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Uterine Fibroids and Aneurysms.
Our highly-skilled interventional radiologists, cardiologists and vascular surgeons use image-guided techniques to safely and effectively diagnose and treat a range of conditions. These procedures involve very small incisions that afford patients a faster, more comfortable recovery than is possible using traditional surgical approaches.
Over 90% of the procedures can be done the same day, allowing patients to return to the comfort of their own home. The Center provides services in the following specialties:
- Cardiac Arrhythmia
Mercy Suburban Hospital
Mercy Suburban Hospital’s
Vascular Laboratory is one of the key components for care of our patients with vascular conditions. Noninvasive testing allows patients to be examined using Doppler ultrasound equipment free of the risks and discomforts of injections and/or other invasive maneuvers. These tests allow diagnosis of almost all known or suspected vascular disorders and testing can often determine the severity of the problems and it treatment. Testing after a vascular intervention or surgery is also performed and can determine if the vessel has been restored to normal or measure improvements in blood flow.
As many as 15 million Americans are estimated to have some form of vascular disease, but most people experience few if any symptoms. The disease often develops over time as fatty deposits or plaque consisting of cholesterol and calcium build up along the vascular wall and block blood flow. This process is called atherosclerosis.
While most anyone can develop vascular disease, certain life style and genetic factors can increase the risk. They include:
- Family history of atherosclerosis & Heart Disease
- High blood pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Lack of activity
Vascular laboratory testing is used to diagnose:
- Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)-blockages in the circulation to the arms or legs due to atherosclerosis or other disease which may threaten the limbs.
- Cerebrovascular disease – blockages in the arteries to the brain that may increase risk of stroke.
- Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) – blood clots in the veins that could migrate to the heart and lungs.
- Chronic venous disease – varicose veins and other disorders that cause leg swelling or leg ulcers.
- Renal artery disease- circulatory disorders of the kidneys that cause hypertension (high blood pressure) or kidney failure.
- Aortic Aneurysms- a ballooning of the major artery that can cause a fatal rupture.
Specialty testing is also offered and consists of:
- Vein mapping for bypass procedures
- Hepatoportal vein evaluation for blockage of veins in the liver
- Dialysis graft surveillance
At the Nazareth Hospital Vascular Center, vascular surgeons, cardiologists, interventional radiologists and registered nurses take a team approach to vascular care. They are highly experienced in the latest screening and diagnostic procedures, advanced surgical techniques including minimally invasive procedures, dialysis access procedures, and customized rehabilitation.
As many as 15 million Americans are estimated to have some form of vascular disease, but most people experience few if any symptoms. Vascular disease often develops over time as fatty deposits or plaque, consisting of cholesterol and calcium, build up along the vascular wall and block blood flow. This process is called atherosclerosis.
While most anyone can develop vascular disease, certain life style and genetic factors can increase risk. They include:
- Family history of atherosclerosis
- High blood pressure
- Lack of activity
Nazareth offers vascular disease management, helping patients learn how to use medications and life style changes, such as smoking cessation, diet and exercise, to control and manage vascular disease. Community based education services and screenings are also offered free of charge to the community.
Vascular screening and diagnostic testing
Screening is an important first step to improved vascular health, especially because many of the most severe disorders such as aortic aneurysms have few if any symptoms. Testing is typically painless and non-invasive. Nazareth Hospital Vascular Center’s broad range of screening and non-invasive diagnostic tests include:
- Ankle-brachial index (ABI) – a test that measures and compares the blood pressure in the arms and legs of a person in order to identify any blood flow problems
- Carotid duplex scan – a type of ultrasound that is used to determine whether plaque or other matter is blocking blood flow in the carotid arteries
- Venous duplex scan – a type of ultrasound used to asses the blood flow in the legs
- Venous mapping – a type of ultrasound used to identify a vein in the arm or leg that can be removed (harvested) and used to bypass a diseased vein in the heart or legs
- Renal artery duplex – a type of ultrasound used to evaluate blood flow to the kidneys
Advanced surgical techniques
In addition to minimally invasive endovascular procedures, Nazareth’s vascular team performs open surgical procedures such as fem-pop by-pass, fem-fem bypass, repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms and carotid endartarectomy.
Minimally invasive vascular procedures
In the past, most patients with vascular problems were treated using traditional surgical techniques, but today minimally invasive procedures such angioplasty, stenting, and atherectomy are available to treat patients with many forms of vascular disease.
Minimally invasive procedures involve only one or more small incisions and offer:
- Shortened recovery time
- Reduced risk of postoperative complications
- Reduced pain
- Less scarring
The greatest benefit has been in the elderly or patients with increased surgical risk. These procedures are performed by a vascular surgeon who threads a tiny, balloon-tipped hollow tube (catheter) through a small incision, usually made in the groin, to the site where the artery has narrowed. The balloon is inflated to clear the blockage. The vascular surgeon may also use the balloon to expand a stent – a tiny mesh cylinder -- within the wall of the artery to strengthen the blood vessel.