September Is PAD Awareness Month: What is a Vascular Surgeon?

Pinterest Logo

Vascular surgeons manage arteries and veins in every part of the body except the brain and the heart. Vascular surgeons do far more than perform surgery. They treat many patients who don’t require surgery and ensure that they know and understand all their treatment options. Vascular surgeons build long-term relationships with their patients.

Sample Photo

Looking for a vascular surgeon?

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Charles Leithead at Ochsner West Bank online or by calling 504-595-8020.

Why Would I Need to See a Vascular Surgeon?

Vascular surgeons treat a variety of diseases of the vascular system such as peripheral arterial disease, stroke, wounds, kidney disease on dialysis, leg swelling, varicose veins, blood clots, arm pain, vascular infections and vascular injuries.

If you are high risk for vascular disease, you are encouraged to schedule an appointment with a vascular surgeon. Risk factors include history of heart disease, stroke, physical inactivity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and older age.

You would typically be referred to a vascular specialist by your primary care or ER doctor, but you can also schedule an appointment on your own if you have questions or concerns. If you need to see a vascular surgeon, it is important to follow through with the appointment, as vascular diseases can become very serious and can even require amputation if not managed appropriately.

What Types of Procedures Do They Perform?

Vascular surgeons perform several types of procedures including minimally-invasive catheter-based procedures to open arteries or veins, as well as open surgery. Some of these procedures include aneurysm repair, carotid endarterectomy and stenting, lower/upper extremity stenting and bypass, vein ablation, IVC filters and dialysis fistula/grafts.

While some patients require surgery for treatment, others may not need surgery at all. Vascular surgeons manage some vascular conditions with proper diet, exercise and medication. Since they are trained in all treatment options, vascular surgeons don’t prefer any kind of treatment over another and will ensure that each patient receives the best treatment based upon their specific needs.

You may also be interested in: