Vascular surgeons specialize in treating diseases in the vascular/circulatory system, which includes the arteries, veins, and capillaries. The vascular system is one of the most important systems in your body, which is responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood across your body, and back to your heart. However, one might be wondering on how a vascular surgeon actually does “surgery”. The circulatory system is not comprised of one or more distinct organs, or an obvious region of the body. Rather, it is a vast network that covers practically the entire body. This is actually what separates vascular surgeons from other surgeons.
Vascular surgery is often minimally invasive, and often just involve a catheter. Since no major organs are involved in the vascular system (aside from the heart, but the heart is covered by another surgery specialization), the most a vascular surgeon would do is to make a small incision in the skin and muscle in an attempt to repair an artery or vein.
Another unique factor that sets vascular surgeons apart from other surgeons is that they also take a prescriptive role in their patient’s consultation. Vascular surgeons are very knowledgeable on different dietary and exercise methods that would help improve a patient’s circulatory system.
The work of a vascular surgeon is very important because a blocked circulatory system would result in severe pain in the affected areas of your body, and at worse, may contribute to heart problems, and would also contribute to overall health issues due to not enough oxygenated blood going to your body and not enough deoxygenated blood going back to your heart to complete the cycle. Without a function vascular system, the body would not function, and vascular surgeons are trained to help repair, and maintain it.
One of the most common patients for a vascular surgeon are the elderly. As age comes naturally within people, the veins and arteries tend to degrade, leading their blood to tend to clot more easily. This makes vascular surgeons an important member of society, thanks to their hand in caring for the senior population of the world. In fact, a vascular surgeon’s work plays a role in protecting senior citizens from strokes and heart attacks, which are the leading causes of death for people in their age groups.
Thanks to their more prescriptive nature, vascular surgeons also have a hand in improving the quality of life among senior citizens as well, thanks to their recommendations of diet and exercise that not only help improve their circulatory system, but their overall quality of life as well.
Perhaps the primary reason why vascular surgeons take a more active role in the improvement of health quality within their patients, and why the actual surgery is as minimally invasive as possible is because of the highly risky matter of performing invasive surgery on something as delicate as a person’s veins and arteries. These vessels are highly delicate, and one wrong move can result in severe blood loss. As such, surgery is often treated as a “last resort” among vascular surgeons, and in many cases, surgery is not the best solution for their patient.
Of course, this level of discretion and critical thinking requires years of extensive training. After an aspiring vascular surgeon’s stay in medical school, they would take 2-5 years of residency in general surgery, followed by 2-3 years in specialized vascular surgery residency. After which, they would have to undertake a board exam. Vascular surgeons are not only taught on how to perform the actual surgery, but to help in diagnosing, and advising the patient to help improve their circulatory system. As vascular surgeons, it is their duty to help improve their patient’s blood flow with as little invasiveness as possible, and as such, vascular surgeons are among the most talented when it comes to diagnosing and advising patients.
With the circulatory system basically being an extension of the heart, it comes as no surprise that most circulatory diseases and disorders are among the most common health problems in the world, due to hear and cardiovascular-related diseases being the #1 cause of death in the whole world. Different medical conditions that vascular surgeons help treat include aneurysms, carotid artery disease, deep vein thrombosis, blood clotting, and varicose veins.
Indeed, vascular surgeons exercise a great deal of medical discretion and discipline thanks to the volatile nature of the circulatory system, and the diseases that surround it. They are well aware of the fact that most circulatory diseases are connected with the heart, and thus, are a huge risk to the lives of most of their patients, especially the elderly. It’s because of this that the discipline of vascular surgery has actually evolved from actual surgery, and more towards prevention, and non-invasive procedures and methods meant to introduce as little stress on the patient’s body and mind.
Aside from actual anatomy, vascular surgeons are also knowledgeable in blood chemistry and composition. They often perform blood tests with their patients, which helps them identify what sort of problems they may have with their blood, and circulatory system as a whole, and use it as another source on giving them an educated diagnosis on how their patients will proceed with their treatment.
Cardiovascular surgeons are probably one of the most visited medical specialists in the world, and so it’s also useful if you know when to see one. Obesity, diabetes, high/low blood pressure, high/low blood sugar, and heavy smoking are just some of the reasons why one may need to see a vascular surgeon. Almost all ailments have some sort of link with our circulatory system, so it would only make sense for one to see a vascular surgeon when suffering these symptoms and conditions.
The blood, and the circulatory system that distributes it is quite literally the lifeblood of our bodies. It keeps all of our other body systems functioning, and nourished, and helps maintain our consciousness and vitality. Vascular surgeons do more than just patch up our veins, rather they also help in leading lifestyle changes for their patients for the better. This makes them one of the most admirable doctors in the world, and one of the greatest adherers to the Hippocratic Oath.