Specialty Overview

A vascular surgeon has expertise in the diagnosis and care of patients with diseases and disorders affecting the arteries, veins and lymphatic systems, excluding vessels of the brain and heart. Vascular surgeons are also trained in the treatment of vascular disease by medical (nonsurgical) means.

Common procedures performed by vascular surgeons include the opening of artery blockages, repair of veins to improve circulation, treatment of aneurysms (bulges) in the aorta and care of patients suffering vascular trauma.

Specialty Description

Vascular surgery is a broad discipline dealing with the large scope of vascular diseases, such as arterial and venous diseases. Managing such diseases includes medical therapy, minimally invasive procedures and surgical intervention.

Vascular surgery is a versatile, flexible profession and is therefore a platform for innovation in basic and clinical research as well as in surgical education. There is an ever-growing need for young, passionate and enthusiastic vascular surgeons to tailor to the needs of an aging population at risk for vascular diseases.

Vascular surgery offers versatility and stimulation to medical professionals who master the intricacies of vascular surgery as well as state-of-the-art endovascular techniques. In addition, vascular surgeons build long-term relationships with patients and their families as a primary physician for all vascular needs: medical and diagnostic, endovascular, and traditional surgery.

Intricate and demanding, vascular surgery is not “one-size-fits-all”surgery.Each patient presents an individual vascular problem requiring a unique solution.

Minimally invasive percutaneous procedures are advancing rapidly and have revolutionized the ease at which outcomes are obtained for patients while offering the opportunity to continuously hone vascular surgery skills. The interventions may be limb- or lifesaving. Vascular surgeons are charged with treating the complete patient.

“Balance” is a word heard all through college and medical school; there is a great deal to be gained by creating a strong work-life balance. Colleagues may state that vascular surgery is one of the few medical specialties that allow for that balance. Personal relationships and family are paramount in the lives of vascular surgeons. A career in vascular surgery allows for focus on family and home life as well as on patients and their lives.

Whether research is an initial interest or among the interests pursued during a career, vascular surgery provides many varied opportunities. Just as vascular surgery combines the best of the surgical and primary care worlds, so too does the research into this fascinating specialty.

New devices and techniques, including imaging, are about to experience an explosion of development. Vascular surgeons will help determine where scarce health care dollars can do the most good for the greatest number of patients. Vascular surgery research has and will continue to revolutionize medicine today.

Vascular research runs the gamut from basic science cellular research and engineering/graft and stent development to diagnostic advances and clinical and medical management of vascular diseases. Research is performed not only by full-time academic surgeons but also by private practitioners excited by the potential changes in the field.

Related Training

Association

Society for Vascular Surgery
633 N. Saint Clair St., Floor 22
Chicago, IL 60611
(800) 258-7188
vascularweb.org