Laredo Physicians Group can diagnose and treat conditions of the heart, lungs, and chest, such as coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, carotid stenosis, aortic stenosis, mitral stenosis, and lung disorders. Our surgeon uses the latest technology and techniques to treat cardiovascular and cardiothoracic conditions, including minimally invasive surgery. This helps to increase the effectiveness of our surgeries and improve outcomes for our patients.
Some of the treatments we provide include coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), carotid endarterectomy, leg bypasses, aortic and mitral valve replacements, and lobectomies.
Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease and the leading cause of death in the U.S. according to the CDC. CAD occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart harden and become narrow. In time, this can lead to heart failure, heart attack and an irregular heartbeat.
Symptoms of CAD include chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, nausea and fatigue. CAD can be improved by lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, increasing physical activity, stopping smoking and managing stress. Medication and a variety of surgical procedures can also be used if needed.
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is the narrowing of blood vessels outside the heart. PVD develops most commonly as a result of a hardening of the arteries called atherosclerosis. This occurs when cholesterol and scar tissue build up to form a substance called plaque, which narrows and clogs the arteries. The clogged arteries cause decreased blood flow to the legs, which can result in pain when walking and eventually gangrene and amputation.
People with PVD are at increased risk for heart disease and stroke. PVD is also a marker for diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension) and other conditions.
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Surgery
Coronary artery bypass grafting surgery becomes necessary when the effects of severe coronary heart disease blocks blood within the coronary artery. This surgery creates a new path for blood to flow into the heart. Bypassing the blocked artery through a healthy vessel can improve blood flow and reduce chest pain. A graft, or a piece of healthy vein, is used to create this new path.
People at high risk of complications from the use of a heart-lung machine during coronary artery bypass surgery may qualify for off-pump coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Instead of using the machine to pump blood, surgeons use advanced technology to keep the heart beating while they operate.
People suffering from carotid artery disease are at a higher risk of stroke as fatty or waxy build-up starts to clog their carotid artery. Excessive build-up can require a carotid endarterectomy, a procedure that restores normal blood flow to the neck and brain. Surgeons will make a small incision in your carotid artery, located on the side of your neck, and remove the inner lining. This effectively clears deposits from the artery, helping you avoid the chance of blood clots to the brain.
Leg Bypass Surgery
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition that narrows certain arteries and reduces blood flow to your limbs. The disease can cause circulation problems, and in extensive cases, pain or trouble walking. When PAD affects circulation to the leg, bypass surgery allows your surgeon to create a healthier path for blood to flow using a synthetic or organic blood vessel. This procedure is particularly beneficial if you are not a candidate for angioplasty.
Aortic Valve Replacement
During this procedure, a failing aortic valve is replaced with an artificial valve to improve blood flow to the heart. Aortic valve disease can cause a narrowing of the aortic vein, restricting blood from entering the heart. Other times, this disease can cause the valve to not entirely close, allowing blood to flow back into the heart. Replacing the valve completely becomes necessary when repair isn’t an option. There are minimally invasive techniques available for this procedure, which can offer patients a number of benefits including reduced trauma to the body and a quicker recovery.
Mitral Valve Repair/Replacement
The mitral valve controls the inflow of blood to the heart and restricts blood from flowing back into the lungs. Damage to the mitral valve can cause it to narrow or leak. Generally, your doctor will recommend repair rather than full replacement, as this gives you a better chance of preserving heart functions. Surgeons perform most mitral valve repairs using minimally invasive techniques that involve smaller incisions and reduced blood loss compared to open surgery.
If your mitral valve is too weak or damaged for repair, it needs replacing. Surgeons will remove the weak valve and replace it with an artificial valve. With the artificial valve in place, it can regulate a more normal flow of blood. This can relieve shortness of breath and fatigue and allow you to return to normal activities.
Your lungs have multiple separate divisions, called lobes, which help your lungs function as they should. If a disease, such as tuberculosis, emphysema or fungal infections, or a cancerous tumor infects a lobe, surgeons can perform a lobectomy. During this procedure, your surgeon can remove the affected lobe to prevent the disease or cancer from spreading to healthier lobes. Its removal can preserve the health of surrounding lobes that can maintain the lung’s normal function.