What is Vascular Surgery?
Vascular surgery is a surgical subspecialty that focuses on diseases of the circulatory system, the arteries and veins.
Education Required for Vascular Surgery?
In order to be qualified to perform vascular surgery, there is 4 years of medical school, followed by a 5 year general surgery residency, and finally a 2 year fellowship in vascular surgery, to learn more hands on surgical skills regarding the arteries and veins.
Where can Vascular Surgery be performed?
Vascular surgery can be performed in both a hospital setting and a office setting. New technology over the last 20 years have shifted a lot of procedures from being performed in the operating room to being performed in the office. Surgery may also range from being open (large incision) to minimally invasive (small incision). Most of the minimally invasive procedures are typically performed in an office setting, but based on the type of surgery or location of the surgery, some must still be performed in the operating room.
Vascular Surgery for Varicose Veins
Perhaps one of the most well known types of vascular surgery involves treatment of varicose veins. This is a common diagnosis, therefore many people may have looked into having vascular surgery to correct their varicose veins or have already had procedures done to correct their varicose veins. Besides surgery for varicose veins, there are a multitude of other surgeries that are performed through vascular surgery, as there are a lot of veins and arteries that course through the body.
Common Vessels Affected by Vein Disease
Some of the other common vessels that may be affected by differing diseases are the:
- carotid arteries (found in the neck)
- abdominal aorta (found in the stomach)
- femoral arteries (found in the legs)
Of course, many other vessels in the body can be affected, but these are some of the more commonly affected vessels. Many arteries become clogged with cholesterol or there is a narrowing of the artery by some other cause. Other arteries develop a weakness in their wall, which causes an outpouching, known as an aneurysm. These types of defects and diseases are what vascular surgery addresses.
How Vascular Surgery Repairs Vessels
How does vascular surgery repair these vessels?
1. Endarterectomy Surgery
For arteries that may be clogged, such as the carotid artery, an endarterectomy may be performed. Endarterectomies remove excess buildup in the vessel.
Unlike with the heart that blocked vessels can be bypassed, the vessels needing an endarterectomy are usually much larger and bypass is not an option.
2. Stenting or Balloon Angioplasty
Stenting or balloon angioplasty may be performed on arteries in the leg if there are blockages or narrowing due to peripheral vascular disease. Aneurysms can be repaired by endovascular treatment or open procedures to fix the defect in the vessel wall to prevent rupture.
If there is an occlusion within the veins, such as a large clot, this can be removed through minimally invasive technique called an endovascular procedure, or open repair.
Contact a Vascular Surgeon to Learn More
Many surgical options are available to repair veins and arteries. If you have specific concerns or have been diagnosed with varicose veins, abdominal aneurysm, or peripheral vascular disease, vascular surgery may be what you need in order to treat your symptoms. Dr. Jose Almeida is a board certified vascular surgeon in Miami Florida, published vascular disease author and founding member of the International Vein Congress. To learn more about Dr. Almeida visit https://www.miamiveincenter.com/jose-almeida-md/.