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Vascular surgery is the surgical specialty that deals with the diseases affecting the arteries, veins, and lymphatic vessels. Vascular surgeons are trained to treat conditions affecting the circulation of the blood and circulatory system, which includes the blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to rest of the body and veins that take blood back to the heart. They manage the diseases of the vascular system by medical therapy, minimally-invasive procedures, and surgical reconstruction.
The conditions treated by a vascular surgeon are aortic aneurysms, carotid artery disease, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), thrombophlebitis, peripheral artery disease (PAD), renal and mesenteric arterial occlusive disease, lymphoedema, and venous diseases. The common procedures performed by a vascular surgeon include endovascular repair of an aortic aneurysm, carotid artery surgery to remove build-up plaque in the blood vessels, remove blood clots from lower extremities, and minimally invasive catheter procedures.
In minimally invasive surgeries, the veins and blood vessels are repaired by introducing catheters inside the vessel with a minor incision. The recovery time and pain are reduced a lot. Vascular surgeries and procedures have improved a lot, and early identification and treatment of vascular diseases prevent the need for major surgeries. With the help of online consultation platforms, you can consult professionally trained vascular surgeon online by posting a query or through phone or video consultation.
A doctor who specializes in treating conditions and diseases affecting the vascular system, which comprises of the vessels that carry blood and lymph through the body, is called a vascular surgeon.
If you have to undergo surgery for vascular diseases, such as aneurysm, atherosclerosis, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), etc., then you have to consult a vascular surgeon.
The common conditions that a vascular surgeon treats are:
- Aneurysm - a bulging artery.
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD) - the peripheral arteries become narrowed.
- Atherosclerosis - hardening of the arteries.
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) - a blood clot in the deep vein, most
- commonly in the legs.
- Spider veins - small veins visible under the skin.
- Varicose veins - swollen and twisted veins in the legs.
Some of the common symptoms of peripheral artery disease are calf pain while walking, leg weakness, leg numbness, brittle nails, leg ulcers, and erectile dysfunction in men.
A vascular surgeon performs various procedures such as:
- Thoracic endovascular aortic repair for thoracic aortic aneurysms.
- Endovascular aneurysm repair for abdominal aortic aneurysms.
- Angioplasty and stenting for peripheral vascular disease.
- Hemodialysis access.
- Thoracic outlet surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome.
The common causes of vascular diseases are genetics, high cholesterol, hypertension, other heart conditions, injury, infection, and hormonal medicines. In some cases, the cause is not known.
The factors that increase the risk of vascular diseases are:
- Old age.
- Heart problems like high blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Family history.
- Lack of physical activity.
Vascular diseases are not curable, but surgery and medicines can prevent the condition from getting worse.