Understanding Vascular Trauma

Posted on: 27 June 2018

Every day, vascular surgeons treat patients who have suffered vascular trauma. If you know someone who has experienced vascular trauma, you'll want to understand as much as possible about the condition and the options available for treatment. This article outlines everything you need to know about this condition.

What Is Vascular Trauma?

Vascular trauma is the term vascular surgeons use to describe an injured blood vessel. The body has two types of blood vessels:

  • Arteries, which distribute the blood throughout the body, feeding the vital organs, arms and legs.

  • Veins, which channel the blood back to the heart.

An injury affecting either an artery or vein is a very serious occurrence, often requiring emergency treatment by a vascular surgeon. Vascular trauma can occur through blunt trauma, such as when a blood vessel is crushed, or through an injury that penetrates or tears the vessel. Car accidents and industrial mishaps are common ways that vascular injuries can occur.

What Are the Consequences of Vascular Trauma?

The consequences of vascular trauma can be extremely serious, and sometimes even life threatening. Vascular surgeons commonly treat two main conditions arising from vascular trauma.

The first is a condition known as thrombosis. When a blood vessel becomes injured, the blood forms clots to try to stop the bleeding. Occasionally a clot can form inside the artery, blocking the supply of blood to the organ or extremity it feeds. The second serious condition that can arise from vascular trauma is hemorrhage—excessive life threatening bleeding.

What Are Treatments for Vascular Trauma?

When a blood vessel is seriously injured, a medical emergency can result. An emergency medical team will be formed to diagnose and treat the vascular trauma. If surgery is needed a vascular surgeon will carry out the surgery. The most common forms of treatment for vascular trauma include:

  • Surgical bypass, in which a small section of a blood vessel from another part of the body is inserted at the site of the damage.

  • Ligation, or tying off a vein to stop the blood flow.

  • Stenting, or placing a small tube inside the injured blood vessel to allow the blood to flow through it.

When someone suffers vascular trauma, it can be an extremely upsetting time for their loved ones. The good news is that vascular surgeons are specialists in treating these kinds of injuries. With rapid response and the care of a team of medical professionals, your loved one will be back on their feet in no time.