Renal Artery Disease
We are among only a few medical centers trained to treat renal artery blockages and aneurysms with both open surgery and minimally invasive, catheter-based procedures. The Wake Forest Baptist Health Vascular Center is a major referral center nationally and internationally for patients with these vascular conditions.
Surgical Treatment Options for Renal Artery Disease
- Endarterectomy: Your doctor removes plaque buildup and repairs the renal artery with a graft, or tube, to improve blood flow. This procedure is open surgery and requires a large incision.
- Bypass surgery: Your doctor re-routes blood around the blocked section of your renal artery in one of two ways. He can either use one of your veins or plastic tubing to "bypass" the blockage. This procedure is an open surgery and requires an abdominal incision.
- Angioplasty: Your doctor inserts a thin tube called a catheter through an artery in your groin and, with the help of X-ray imaging, moves the catheter up the blocked renal artery. The catheter helps your doctor position a tiny balloon in the artery. When inflated, it widens the artery, improving blood flow. Your doctor may also insert a stent, or metal tube, in the artery to provide extra support. As a catheter-based technique, this procedure only requires a tiny incision.
Managing Renal Artery Disease
If you've been diagnosed with renal artery disease, or already undergone surgery to treat it, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following to help manage your renovascular disease:
- Medications that lower cholesterol or prevent blood clots
- Diabetes management
- Lifestyle change, such as quitting smoking
- Exercise programs
- Regular follow-up care to monitor your condition