Vascular Surgeon

Posted on: 18 July 2017

A vascular surgeon is a medical specialist who treats poor circulation and diseases of the circulatory system outside the heart.  Your vascular system is made up all the vessels that transport blood and lymph around your body.  Veins and arteries carry oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to where it is needed in the body, and carry away tissue waste. Vascular surgeons treat veins and arteries in every part of the body except for the heart and lungs.  Vascular disease is known as the 'silent threat' and symptoms can appear suddenly, or not at all. 

Conditions such as hardened arteries can create blocks to blood being transported to where it is needed.  This is where a vascular surgeon can help.  They treat conditions such as varicose veins, deep-vein thrombosis, aortic aneurysms and carotid artery disease. Vascular surgeons differ from other surgeons in that they are likely to treat a patient on an ongoing basis for years.  This is because vascular disease is often a long-term condition.  Vascular surgeons don't only perform surgical procedures.  They spend a lot of time building relationships with their patients, and consulting with them to ensure that the patient knows all the options available.  Many vascular conditions can be controlled with medication, exercise or changes in diet and the surgeon is able to make the patient aware of what approach will best suit that individual.  There are many different procedures for a training vascular surgeon to master.  Vascular surgeons must able to perform open, complicated surgeries as well as minimally invasive endo-vascular procedures.  The surgeon will use his/ her knowledge of the individual patient's situation in order to suggest the procedure best-suited to that individual.  

Generally, a patient is referred to a vascular surgeon by their primary care physician.  You may be referred if you are in a high-risk category.  For example, if you have a history of diabetes or other high-risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure or coronary artery disease, are over 70 years of age, or over the age of 50 with a history of diabetes or smoking. When seeing the surgeon, it is best to be prepared for your consultation.  Make a  list of symptoms you are experiencing, any important personal details (such as major life changes or stressors), and any medications you are taking.  It is also  a good idea to write down any questions you have before the appointment.  A good surgeon will listen to you and will recommend treatments that are best suited to your unique set of symptoms and individual needs.

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