A Brief Introduction to Vascular and Endovascular Surgery: Speciality of a Vascular Surgeon
- The whole spectrum of Vascular diseases includes various abnormalities in the blood vessels of the body. These include diseases of the Arteries (vessels carrying blood to the organs) and the Veins (vessels carrying blood back to the heart).
- Risk Factors for all kinds of Vascular diseases are Smoking, Diabetes, high Cholesterol, high Blood pressure, increasing Age, Family history and Sedentary life habits
- Abnormalities in the arteries which are treated by a Vascular surgeon include narrowing of various degrees, (called as Stenosis) or complete obstruction. A complete obstruction of an artery results in impairment of blood flow to the organs supplied by the artery, leading to permanent damage to the organ (Gangrene).
- An abnormal dilatation in a segment of an artery is called an Aneurysm, which occurs due to weakness in the arterial wall and causes segmental ballooning of the artery. An Aneurysm may rupture, leading to life-threatening blood loss and hence needs timely treatment by a Vascular Surgeon, who specialises in both Surgical and Endovascular treatments for arterial aneurysms.
- The common abnormalities in the Veins which need treatment by a Vascular surgeon include Varicose veins, Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). Treatment may be Medical, Surgical or Endovascular depending on the type and the stage of the disease.
- A Vascular surgeon also specializes in the Surgical creation of various types of venous access (AV Fistula / AV Grafting) for Dialysis in patients with end-stage kidney disease.
- The treatment of Vascular disease has undergone a huge revolution in the last 2 decades, with minimally invasive (Endovascular) treatment replacing the traditional surgical treatment for most of the diseases, and a Vascular Surgeon specialises in all these modalities of treatment.