UofL Physicians – Vascular Surgery consists of a team of experts in vascular surgery and minimally invasive endovascular therapy. Our specially trained physicians are dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment and management of disorders of all parts of the vascular system.
We provide care and treatment for a broad spectrum of circulatory disorders, including peripheral arterial disease (PAD), thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA), vascular trauma, acute and chronic ischemia of upper and lower extremities, arterial aneurysms, vascular malformations and tumors, hemodialysis access, vascular disease of intestines and kidneys (visceral disorders), extra-cranial cerebrovascular disorders, venous and lymphatic disorders. Also, we are a tertiary referral center for rare and complicated vascular disorders.
At UofL Health – Mary & Elizabeth Hospital, the vascular team is led by Nancy S. Clark, M.D., J.D., a board-certified vascular surgeon specializing in limb salvage and wound care, abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) and endovascular interventions for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease.
UofL Physicians – Vascular Surgery is active in vascular research to further advance the specialty and to make the latest treatment options available to our patients. UofL Physicians – Vascular Surgery is the only group in Louisville to be enrolled in the following research trials:
- Direct stem cell injection in PAD patients without other treatment alternatives.
- Thoracic aortic stent grafting for aortic transection. Aortic transection is a tear in the aorta usually caused by trauma and can be life-threatening if not fixed early and appropriately. Stent grafts have revolutionized this treatment.
- A venous stenting trial for complex venous diseases.
- AV grafts and fistula trial for patients on hemodialysis to improve the outcomes in dialysis patients.
UofL Physicians – Vascular Surgery treats the most vascular trauma in Kentucky, providing comprehensive, state-of-the-art services for vascular emergencies throughout the region. Considering the degenerative and complex nature of the vascular disease and that those diseases often are accompanied by other health problems, we strive to treat patients in a holistic manner with compassion and dignity. We are committed to providing compassionate, top-notch care to all patients.
Diseases and conditions
- Stroke (carotid stenosis)
- Blood clots
- Ischemia (blood does not flow through arteries properly)
- Renovascular conditions (affects kidney blood vessels)
- Hemodialysis access
- Mesenteric vascular disorders (blood flow problems to intestines)
- Brain dysfunctions related to disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain (cerebrovascular disease)
- Leg artery disease (peripheral artery disease)
- Sudden lack of blood flow to the limbs (acute limb ischemia)
- Non-healing wounds
- Blockage of the main artery of the lung or one of its branches (pulmonary embolism)
- Complications of indwelling ports, catheters and pacemakers
- Superior vena cava syndrome
- Inferior vena caval thrombosis or anomalies
- Effort thrombosis
- Complications of inferior vena caval filters
- May-Thurner syndrome
- Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in one of the deep veins)
- Chronic venous insufficiency (leg veins cannot pump enough blood back to your heart)
- Varicose veins
- Spider veins
- Venous ulcers
- Limb swelling
- Arteriovenous malformations (abnormal connection between veins and arteries)
Treatments and services
Diseases of the aorta and aortic branches
UofL Physicians – Vascular Surgery provides a complete continuum of care for all types of aortic conditions, including aortic dissections (occurs when a tear in the inner wall of the aorta causes blood to flow between the layers of the wall of the aorta and force the layers apart), thoracic aortic aneurysms, abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA), traumatic aortic rupture and injuries, mesenteric ischemia (inflammation and injury of the intestine result from inadequate blood supply) and aortoiliac occlusive disease. Treatment options range from medical management and minimally invasive procedures to hybrid therapies and open procedures (traditional surgery).
Cerebrovascular disease refers to a group of conditions that affect the circulation of blood to the brain, causing limited or no blood flow to affected areas of the brain. The results of cerebrovascular disease can include a stroke. UofL Physicians – Vascular provides comprehensive evaluation and management of patients with cerebrovascular disease, including:
- Carotid endarterectomy: A surgical procedure to prevent a stroke by correcting the narrowing of the carotid artery and removing the plaque that has built up on the inside of the artery.
- Carotid artery stenting with embolic protection: A minimally invasive procedure that uses catheters to unblock the narrowing of the carotid artery lumen to prevent a stroke.
- Bypass procedures that reroute needed blood flow to the brain.
Peripheral artery disease
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs and limbs. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue and other substances in the blood. When plaque builds up in the body’s arteries, the condition is called atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Over time, plaque can harden and narrow the arteries. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and other parts of your body. While PAD usually affects the arteries in the legs, it also can affect the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your head, arms, kidneys and intestine.
UofL Physicians – Vascular offers a variety of treatment options for PAD, including:
- Medical advances
- Endovascular therapies such as:
- Balloon angioplasty including (freezing) cryotherapy and cutting-balloons
- Angioplasty with stenting
- Recanalization of total occlusions
- Atherectomy – “ roto-rooter” blocked vessels
- Bypass procedures
- Endarterectomy including remote, single-incision endarterectomy
- Hybrid or combination procedures
- Thrombolytic therapy – the use of drugs to break up or dissolve blood clots
Acute venous thromboembolic disease
Venous thrombosis is a blood clot (thrombus) that forms within a vein. Thrombosis is a medical term for a blood clot occurring inside a blood vessel. The most common venous thrombosis is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can break off and become a life-threatening pulmonary embolism (PE). The conditions of DVT and PE are referred to collectively with the term venous thromboembolic disease. UofL Physicians - Vascular Surgery offers a variety of minimally invasive treatment options for venous thromboembolic disease, including:
- Catheter-directed thrombolytic (clot-busting) therapy
- Mechanical thrombectomies (removal of clot)
- Rheolytic thrombectomy (Angiojet)
- Placement of vena caval filters
- Removal of vena caval filters
- Venous stenting and balloon angioplasty
Chronic venous disease
Venous problems are common. If you suffer from unsightly spider veins or painful varicose veins, UofL Physicians – Vascular Surgery can help. Our highly skilled vascular surgeons combine their clinical expertise with the most advanced cosmetic and surgical techniques to achieve dramatic results without drastic measures. The results are legs that are more natural and youthful in appearance. Most treatments are performed in the privacy and comfort of our clinic usually under local anesthetic. The recovery time is brief. UofL Physicians – Vascular Surgery offers a variety of treatment options for chronic venous disease, including:
- Endovenous laser ablation of varicose veins (EVLT)
- Radiofrequency ablation of varicose veins (closure)
- Embolic therapy (block unwanted venous connections)
- Venous bypass procedures
If you are starting hemodialysis treatments in the next several months, you need surgery for vascular access, which is the site on your body where blood is removed and returned during dialysis. To maximize the amount of blood cleansed during hemodialysis treatments, vascular access should allow continuous high volumes of blood flow. UofL Physicians – Vascular Surgery offers a variety of options for hemodialysis access, including:
- Creation of all types of AV fistula (creates a passageway between an artery and a vein)
- Creation of complex (exotic) access when other sites have been used
- Placement of long-term and temporary dialysis catheters
- Fistulogram, angioplasty and stents (minimally invasive maintenance of access for long term use)
- Access thrombectomy (by catheter and by surgical techniques)
Vascular providers at UofL Health – Mary & Elizabeth Hospital may be contacted at:
UofL Physicians – Vascular Surgery
1900 Bluegrass Ave., Suite 204
Louisville, KY 40215
When it comes to vascular disease, early detection can reduce the risk of serious complications. That is why UofL Physicians – Vascular Surgery puts a strong emphasis on diagnosis. We use the most advanced, non-invasive vascular testing, including:
- Duplex ultrasonography: Determines multiple factors within the circulatory system. It can evaluate central (abdominal) and peripheral arteries and veins. It helps determine the amount of vascular stenosis (narrowing) or occlusion (complete blockage) within an artery. It assists in ruling out aneurysms and it is the main aid to rule out thrombotic events.
- Doppler and plethysmography
- Ankle-brachial indices to determine blood flow
In an effort to prevent vascular events, like aneurysms or strokes, from occurring we also offer diagnostic vascular screenings at multiple facilities for just $53. Since vascular conditions do not always present with symptoms, a 30-minute screening could help detect a problem before it occurs. Simply call 502-587-4327 to schedule a screening today.