Vascular surgeons are trained to treat diseases of the vascular system. Blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood and veins bringing blood back to the heart are the pathways of the circulatory system. Without smooth blood flow, our body will cease to function normally.
If anything happens to the circulatory system, a vascular surgeon will let their patient know of their options, such as surgery, but they can also treat many patients without operating on them - such as through medication or exercise. In fact, a vascular surgeon will only operate if there is no other way to treat their patient - it is a last resort.
Vascular surgeons are experts and are trained on a wide range of surgery types including open, complicated, and minimally invasive, endovascular procedures. They are considered ‘treatment agnostic,’ not preferring any kind of treatment over another and are willing to evaluate all options possible.
Vascular surgeons manage the veins and arteries in every part of the body except for the brain and the heart. They handle blocked carotid arteries in the neck, as well as treating problems of the aorta and also peripheral vascular disease, which affects the arteries in the legs and feet.
A patient will be referred to a vascular surgeon after seeing their general practitioner. If you are experiencing pain in your legs, for example, you might be referred to a vascular surgeon and learn that you have a peripheral vascular arterial disease.
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