A vascular surgeon is a specialist who works with patients afflicted with diseases of the circulatory and lymphatic systems. Vascular surgeons have board certification from the American Board of Surgery in general surgery. After receiving that certification, they undertake training relevant to their specialty.
View Dr. Almeida’s board certification certificate by clicking the logo.
1. Vascular surgeons attend medical school and complete a general surgery residency, which is 5 years of specialized training in surgery.
2. After completing residency, many go on to complete a 2 year fellowship in vascular surgery, which requires a more extensive training program in surgical practices with the arteries and veins of the body.
3. Vascular surgeons have training in both open procedures and with catheters into the vessels.
4. Typically have extensive training with imaging modalities like duplex imaging and ultrasound imaging, which is a mainstay for appropriate venous or arterial treatment.
Vascular surgeons are able to perform a variety of procedures to treat issues with arteries and veins. This includes sclerotherapy for spider veins, laser vein ablation for varicose veins and catheter-directed thrombolysis (clot busters) for deep vein thrombosis. These are just a small sample of the procedures available with a vascular surgeon.
NOTE: Some doctors that are not vascular surgeons will offer you vascular surgery as a treatment. We strongly advise patients to seek the opinion of a board certified vascular surgeon prior to any treatment. Non-vascular surgeons do not have the same level of training and experience when compared to a vascular surgeon that specializes in vein and artery disease.
Now that many vein procedures are completed in the office, other doctors in differing specialities are beginning to perform vein procedures without the same training as a vascular surgeon. Q: How can this be done? A: Doctors are now performing vascular surgery at a clinic instead of a hospital due to new office-based treatments.
Many years ago all vascular surgery was performed in the hospital. Hospitals enforce strict guidelines for granting privileges to physicians. The hospital will verify the surgeon’s training, that the board certified status is equal to the requested privileges and that the surgeon has the ability to perform certain procedures on patients.
Medical clinics do not have the same strict guidelines for a physician’s ability to perform procedures. Clinics typically only require the doctor to have a medical license. This is why with the advent of more office based procedures, that any physician is able to perform them, even if they have had minimal weekend or conference based training.
Do vascular surgeons treat more than just veins? The answer is yes. Vascular surgeons perform more than just vein procedures, although this is the most well-known type of procedure, as it is typically done in the clinic setting.
Vascular surgeons also address arteries in the body as well. If you know someone that has had clogged carotid arteries, a vascular surgeon would clean out the arteries during a carotid endarterectomy. If you know someone that has dialysis for their kidney failure, the access point was likely performed by a vascular surgeon. Anyone with blocked arteries in the legs or arms may have had stenting that was performed by a vascular surgeon. If you have heard of an aneurysm of the aorta in the abdomen, which is a weakening of the artery with an outpouching that needs repair, this would be fixed by a vascular surgeon.
Not all of these procedures are performed in the clinic and there are several that are still routinely performed in the operating room, as they are considered open procedures.
If you are searching for a vein clinic, it is important to find someone that is board certified in vascular surgery, as they have the highest level of training capable to treat even the most severe vein disease. They also have experience with different imaging equipment, which is typically in their office, that is necessary to correctly diagnose and treat venous and arterial disease. Verify your vascular surgeon is board certified at https://www.absurgery.org/app.jsp?type=vc&id=27
Depending on the condition, location and severity of varicose veins, Dr. Almeida will recommend the least invasive treatment that provides the best results.
Dr. Jose Almeida, MD, FACS, RPVI, RVT is a veteran academic vascular surgeon who practices Endovascular Venous Surgery in the comfort and convenience of a private practice in Miami, FL.
Dr. Jose Almeida serves as Voluntary Professor of Surgery at the University of Miami School of Medicine, sits on the American Venous Forum Board of Directors, and is Chairman of the Society for Vascular Surgery Patient Safety Organization Venous Quality Committee.