What is vascular surgery?
Vascular surgery is a surgical subspecialty in which diseases of the vascular system, or arteries and veins, are managed by medical therapy, minimally-invasive catheter procedures, and surgical reconstruction.
What are the major arteries and veins in our body?
What are the diseases treated under this speciality?
What are the general symptoms that a patient can have with this disease?
Your vascular system is made up of vessels that carry your blood throughout your body. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from your heart. Veins carry oxygen-poor blood back to your heart. Your blood leaves the left side of the heart and is pumped out to the rest of your body.
It is a disease process leading to hardening and narrowing (stenosis) of your arteries. The build-up of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances creates plaques inside arteries, which can lead to serious problems including heart attack, stroke, amputation and death.
Carotid arteries disease occurs when the main blood vessels to the brain develop a build-up of plaque caused by atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. When the build-up becomes very severe, it can cause a stroke.
A stroke occurs when part of the brain is damaged by these vascular problems; 80 percent of strokes are “ischemic strokes” where part of the circulation to the brain is cut off, usually due to blockages in the carotid arteries. The process is similar to the build-up of plaque in arteries in the heart that causes heart attacks.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm is an enlargement or “bulge” that develops in a weakened area within the largest artery in the abdomen. If the condition remains undetected, the aortic wall continues to weaken, and the aneurysm continues to grow. Eventually, the aneurysm becomes so large, and its wall so weak, that rupture occurs causing internal bleeding.
Peripheral arterial disease occurs due to hardening of the arteries, causing a build-up of plaque in the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to all the tissues of the body. As these plaques worsen, they reduce essential blood flow to the limbs and can even cause complete blockages of the arteries.
Early on it may cause difficulty walking, but in its most severe forms, it can cause painful foot ulcers, infections, and even gangrene, which could require amputation. Heart attacks or strokes can occur because of PAD.
Women don’t always experience the symptoms of peripheral artery disease the same way as men, so the disease may not be discovered until it is more advanced. If a woman has peripheral artery disease, it means that she probably has arterial disease in other parts of the body. Women with peripheral artery disease are at a much greater risk for heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death.
Veins are responsible for bringing blood back to the heart, sometimes working against gravity. When you walk, muscles in your leg squeeze the veins and help blood flow back into the heart. In normal veins, a series of valves assist this process. In chronic venous insufficiency, poorly functioning valves allow the blood to pool in the lower leg and cause symptoms.
Pain, itching, swelling, burning, leg heaviness or tiredness, skin discoloration. Symptoms typically worsen throughout the day and are partially relieved by elevation or wearing compression socks or stockings.
Smoking damages the blood vessels, making them more likely to spasm and develops fatty plaque build-up. Smoking is also a risk factor for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
DVT forms when your blood flow becomes very slow.
Discomfort along the vein where there is Swelling, pain, redness or warmth along the vein that has the clot.
Vascular surgeons are specialists who are highly trained to treat diseases of the vascular system.. A vascular surgeon ensures that these patients with vascular health issues know and understand all their options. In short, vascular surgeons can do surgery, but they see and treat many patients who don’t require surgery.
Many vascular problems can be treated with medication or exercise alone and do not require surgery.