Artery Problems

While artery problems can occur in many part of the body, there are a few types of artery conditions that are more common.

  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)—when not enough blood travels to legs and feet (and sometimes arms)
  • Carotid artery blockages—when the brain is prevented from receiving enough oxygenated blood
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) —when the main artery that supplies blood to the lower body suffers a weakness
  • Heart disease — when arteries in the heart suffer blockage

The two main types of artery damage are:   (1)  plaque build-up inside artery walls which can causes restricted flow of blood, and (2) the weakening of the artery wall—called an aneurysm—which could lead to a rupture.

With most artery problems, treatment may include exercise, medication and surgical procedures. If your primary physician has referred you to MSA, we will help you and your physician evaluate surgical options.

MSA is experienced in the surgical procedures that treat these problems, and when possible, we use minimally invasive techniques.

  • For severe blockages in PAD, surgery could help to improve circulation.
  • For carotid artery blockage, a procedure such as endarterectomy to remove plaque if you are at risk for stroke.
  • For an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), surgery to repair the artery wall.

If a surgical procedure is the best course of action for your artery problem, we will consult with you on the best way to prepare for your surgery—such as understanding the medications you are taking, advising you on dietary or other restrictions that are necessary immediately before surgery.

We will also give you a thorough explanation of each step of the surgery, including the type of anesthesia required, an overview of the actual procedure and what to expect immediately afterwards.

You will be given complete instructions for a successful recovery including any required medications, activity/exercise restrictions, diet and personal care.

Note: If you have recently undergone surgery for an artery problem, call your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Bleeding at the incision or extreme redness of the incision
  • Pain or swelling that seems to be increasing
  • A fever over 100 degrees F
  • Numbness or a feeling of weakness in any part of your body
  • Shortness of breath or chest pain
  • Reappearance of your previous artery symptoms
  • Light-headedness or dizziness

For more information, visit the following organizations online: