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Renovascular Disease

Renovascular disease affects the blood vessels of your kidneys, called the renal arteries and veins. When your kidney blood vessels narrow (stenosis) or have a clot (thrombosis), your kidney is less able to function properly.

Causes

Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries and slows the amount of blood flowing through the arteries. In some situations eventually enough plaque may build up to interfere with blood flow in your renal arteries.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of getting renovascular disease include:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • A family history of heart or vascular disease

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of renovascular disease may include:

  • Pain in the sides of abdomen, legs or thighs
  • Blood in urine
  • Protein in urine
  • Enlarged kidney
  • High blood pressure
  • Fever, nausea or vomiting
  • Sudden, severe swelling in leg
  • Difficulty breathing

Diagnosis

To determine if someone has renovascular disease, a health care provider will ask questions about general health, medical history and symptoms. Then they will perform a physical exam. If your health care provider suspects renovascular disease, further diagnostic testing will be recommended.

Treatments Offered at the Center for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery

The following procedures are offered for the treatment of renovascular disease depending on a patient’s diagnosis:

  • Renal Artery Angioplasty/Stenting. If the renal artery is partially or completely blocked, an angioplasty and stenting may be performed. During this procedure, a physician inserts a catheter through a small puncture site, or sometimes a small incision, and guides it through the blood vessels to the renal artery. The catheter carries a tiny balloon that inflates and deflates, flattening the plaque against the walls of the artery. Next, the physician may insert a tiny metal-mesh tube called a stent in the artery to hold it open.
  • Renal Artery Bypass. During bypass surgery, the surgeon creates a detour around a narrowed or blocked section of the renal artery. To create this bypass, a vascular surgeon can use a vein or sometimes a tube made from man-made materials can be used as an alternative. The surgeon attaches the bypass above and below the blocked area, producing a new path for blood to flow to the kidneys.

Prevention

You can reduce some of your risk factors for developing atherosclerosis by following these recommendations:

  • Eat a healthy diet that is low in saturated fat and rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Don't smoke. If you smoke, quit.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Begin a safe exercise program with the advice of your doctor.
  • Seek treatment for high blood pressure, syphilis and other infections.

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Our Team

At the Center for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, every patient meets with one of our highly skilled, board-certified surgeons.

Conditions and Treatments

Vascular disease comes in many different forms and our world class surgeons are experts at diagnosing and treating a wide-spectrum of vascular diseases

Cosmetic Vein Center

St. Elizabeth’s Cosmetic Vein Center offers both cosmetic and therapeutic treatments of varicose veins and spider veins. 

Vascular Lab

The Vascular Lab provides many types of testing and diagnostic services to help diagnosis a variety of vascular diseases.

Patient Stories

Many patients who come to the Center for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at St. Elizabeth's have a story to share about their care, recovery, and success after surgery or other treatments.

Contact Us

Center for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
St. Elizabeth's Medical Center
736 Cambridge Street
Brighton, MA 02135
617-779-6504

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