What do vascular surgeons do?
Vascular surgeons are specialists who are highly trained to treat diseases of the vascular system. Your blood vessels --arteries carrying oxygen-rich blood and veins carrying blood back to the heart -- are the roadways of your circulatory system. Without smoothly flowing blood, your body cannot function.
A vascular surgeon does far more than surgery.
A vascular surgeon makes sure patients with vascular health issues know and understand all their options. In short, vascular surgeons can do surgery, but they see and treat many patients who don’t require surgery. Many vascular problems can be treated with medication or exercise.
A vascular surgeon is able to do every kind of procedure.
Vascular surgeons are trained in everything: open, complicated surgery and in minimally invasive, endovascular procedures. Some patients need one, some need the other, while many need no surgery at all. Patients can be assured they will get the best treatment for their particular need.
A vascular surgeon builds relationships with patients.
A vascular surgeon may be someone who treats you on an ongoing basis for decades. A vascular surgeon very often has long-term relationships with patients because vascular disease can be a long-term condition. If you have vascular disease, you can trust a vascular surgeon to care about your long term health and to consider all your options.
Vascular surgeons manage veins and arteries in every part of the body except the brain and the heart.
For example, vascular surgeons handle blocked carotid arteries in the neck. They treat the problems of the aorta (a large main artery) after it leaves the heart and enters the abdomen. Peripheral vascular disease, which often affects the arteries in the legs and feet, also is treated by a vascular surgeon.
How do I know I need to see a vascular surgeon?
Typically, patients are referred to a vascular surgeon by their primary care physician. Sometimes patients become acquainted with a vascular surgeon after an unexpected event lands them in the hospital. You might be referred to a vascular surgeon if you see your regular doctor for pain in your legs, and learn that you have peripheral arterial disease, for example. If you are in a high risk category: are a smoker, diabetic, and/or have high blood pressure, you may be a candidate for starting a relationship with a vascular surgeon.
Vascular surgeons treat conditions of poor circulation in the blood vessels.
We assist with inadequate blood flow problems of the veins and arteries in all parts of the body, except the brain and the heart. Some of the conditions a vascular surgeon treats include:
Abdominal aortic aneurysm: A bulging, weak spot in the arteries that may be at risk for rupturing
Atherosclerosis: Plaque buildup inside of arteries that blocks blood flow
Carotid arterial disease: A narrowing of the blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen to the brain
Peripheral arterial disease: A slow and progressive circulation disorder that affects the brain, legs, and feet
Varicose veins: Enlarged, twisted veins found throughout the body and especially in the legs
Venous thrombosis: When a blood clot blocks a vein