A vascular surgeon is a doctor who has completed special training in the treatment of circulatory system disorders. Endovascular surgery is a sub-specialty with a focus on minimally invasive treatment procedures for vascular conditions.
The circulatory system includes arteries and veins, which transport oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood from the heart to the cells within body tissues. Arteries move blood away from the heart while veins transport blood back to the heart.
Many people associate artery conditions with the heart. But some patients develop problems with ineffective veins resulting in painful varicose veins or sometimes ulcers on the leg that are difficult to heal. If this conditions occur, patients consult with a vascular surgeon.
Common diseases of the arteries include aneurysms and carotid artery disease; common conditions affecting the veins include varicose veins and venous thrombosis (blood clots).
Vascular surgeons provide a variety of treatment options, depending upon the disease and its severity. Treatment may include lifestyle changes, medications and/or surgery or a minimally invasive procedure.
Your primary healthcare provider will refer you to a vascular surgeon, as needed. It is important you report any recent physical symptoms you have experienced to your healthcare provider, as some vascular diseases evoke minimal symptoms at first. Your primary healthcare provider may suggest a test for vascular disease or a referral. You would see a vascular surgeon:
Circulation problems can be difficult to diagnose and may appear to be other medical conditions. Also, some symptoms that mimic circulation problems are actually other physical problems, such as nerve or joint problems. A vascular surgeon is the best person to help you diagnose and treat any circulatory problem you may have.