Vascular grafts are synthetic in nature and are used as a patch for injured or diseased areas of smaller arteries or for replacement of whole parts of heavier arteries such as the aorta in bypass or congenital heart surgeries. It is made up of polytetrafluoroethylene from the inside and has a covering of polyethylene terephthalate from the outside; these two are glued together by a polycarbonate-urethane adhesive.
Cardiovascular diseaseshave the highest mortality rate in the USA. The latest advances made in biomaterials design of vascular grafts have made it possible to equate the properties of original vasculature, but also promote the growth of cells and inhibit thrombogenicity.
Market for vascular grafts
Vascular grafts have been favoured by the cardiovascular surgeons worldwide because of their strong biocompatible design. Increasing cases of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes have increased the market demand for vascular grafts. The global vascular graft market was evaluated at USD 2.15 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach USD 3.29 billion in 2024.
The only factors which can restrain the market growth are risk of infection due to diabetes and complicated immune response which can result in amputationor a rupture, etc. In spite of this the market is expected to rise at CAGR of 5.0% for the next 5 years. Asia Pacific will show the highest growth rate in the market because of improving healthcare infrastructure and medical tourism in countries like India. The increasing cases of diabetes, hypertension, and a few more age related factors are market driving factors in this case.
Applications of vascular grafts
- Cerebral artery bypass: Inside the human skull, if an artery has defected and is stopping the required amount of blood flow to the brain a cerebral artery bypass will be carried out by the surgeon to restore blood flow to the brain.
- Cardiac bypass: This procedure is performed when the arteries that pump the blood into or out of the heart develop blockages. It might cause severe pain in the chest or a heart attack. A surgeon could replace the defective part of the artery with a vascular graft which would continue the work and the patient will be able to lead a normal life.
- Leg bypass: Vascular grafts are used to treat some complications of the leg like aneurysms, acute limb ischemia or peripheral vascular disease, etc. For example if a femoral artery has developed a blockade that is stopping the blood flow, the surgeon could replace it and the vascular bypass graft would restore the blood flow.
Risks involved and recovery
The usual risks of this procedure are haemorrhages or aninfection. After the surgery if none of these complications arise the patient has to recover in the hospital for two days. After being discharged they are often prescribed painkillers and might soon start their normally after one month of recovery avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous work.