Vascular surgeons are qualified as general surgeons; they continue with a fellowship training program in surgical treatment of blood vessel disorders. The vascular surgeon evaluates and treats patients with conditions affecting the arteries and veins throughout the body, with the exception of the heart and brain. Vascular surgeons are trained to operate on arteries and veins of the chest, abdomen, neck and extremities. They perform surgeries to relieve blockages caused by arteriosclerosis, correct aneurysms (weakening of the wall) of major arteries and repair traumatic injuries to blood vessels. Other procedures will relieve vein varicosities, enable patients with kidney failure to undergo regular hemodialysis or enable cancer patients to receive long-term drugs and nutrition intravenously.
Vascular surgeons provide surgical treatment that does not require extensive incisions or bypass replacement of blood vessels. A stent (tube with semi rigid mesh walls) can be threaded through a small incision into an artery to help maintain a regular channel for blood flow.
Patients may be scheduled for surgery, or need it more urgently if discovered during a diagnostic procedure like arteriogram or ultrasound. The vascular surgeons work closely with the radiologists to provide rapid care for the patient as needed; both services are always available to provide prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Partial List of Procedures
- Repair abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Aorta bifemoral bypass graft
- Peripheral vascular angioplasty
- Endovascular stent placement
- Leg revascularization
- Femoral popliteal bypass graft
- Femoral tibial bypass graft
- Femoral femoral bypass graft
- Axillo femoral bypass graft
- Placement vena cava filter
- Insertion peritoneal dialysis catheter
- Creation arterial venous fistula (for hemodialysis)
- Insertion vascular access catheter