Vascular surgery is a specialized branch of surgery concerned with the diagnosis and management of conditions affecting the circulatory system, excluding the heart and brain. Vascular surgeons are trained to treat diseases of the arterial, venous, and lymphatic systems through medical therapy, minimally-invasive catheter procedures, and surgical reconstruction.
Vascular surgeons manage a wide range of vascular disorders, from peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and aneurysms, to Varicose Veins and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). They also have expertise in dealing with conditions such as carotid artery disease, renal and mesenteric disorders, and trauma to blood vessels.
Some of the common conditions treated by vascular surgeons include:
- Atherosclerosis – hardening and narrowing of the arteries.
- Aneurysms – bulging and weakening of arterial walls.
- Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) – reduced blood flow to extremities.
- Carotid Artery Disease – narrowing of neck arteries leading to stroke risk.
- Varicose Veins and Venous Insufficiency – issues leading to leg pain, swelling, and ulcers.
- Lymphedema – swelling due to lymphatic system blockage.
Vascular surgeons perform a variety of procedures, including but not limited to:
- Angioplasty and stent placement – to open narrowed arteries.
- Carotid Endarterectomy – removal of plaque from the carotid artery.
- Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) – a minimally invasive aneurysm treatment.
- Vein Stripping – removal of varicose veins.
- Bypass surgery – to reroute blood flow around blocked arteries.
- Thrombectomy – removal of blood clots from blood vessels.
To diagnose vascular conditions, surgeons may use:
- Ultrasound imaging – including Doppler Ultrasound for blood flow assessment.
- Computed tomography angiography (CTA) – detailed artery imaging.
- Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) – for non-invasive vascular imaging.
- Angiography – imaging of blood vessels after injecting contrast dye.
Training and Certification
Vascular surgeons undergo extensive training, including medical school, a general surgery residency, and additional fellowship training in vascular surgery. They must be certified by the appropriate surgical boards in their region, such as the American Board of Surgery in the United States.
Future and Advancements
The future of vascular surgery is promising, with advancements in endovascular techniques and a focus on less invasive treatments. The development of new materials for grafts and stents, as well as improved imaging technologies, continue to evolve the field.
List of Vascular Surgeons (USA)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
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