What is a Vascular Surgeon?

What do vascular surgeons do?

Vascular surgeons are specialists who are highly trained to treat diseases of the vascular system. Your blood vessels --arteries carrying oxygen-rich blood and veins carrying blood back to the heart -- are the roadways of your circulatory system. Without smoothly flowing blood, your body cannot function. Conditions such as hardening of the arteries can create “traffic jams” in your circulatory system, obstructing the flow of blood to any part of the body.

Do vascular surgeons only operate?

A vascular surgeon makes sure 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. To quote one of MetroHealth’s vascular surgeons- “I spend 80 percent of my time trying to talk my patients out of having surgery.”

What type of procedure will my surgeon recommend?

Because MetroHealth’s vascular surgeons are board certified and fellowship trained you can be confident the procedure deemed necessary for you will be the safest and most effective treatment specific to your situation. Unlike other doctors dealing with peripheral arterial problems or vein problems, a vascular surgeon has a full tool box to solve vascular problems. Each patient is unique and requires a unique solution to their problem. Some specialists specialize in one or two kinds of vascular interventions, so their patients tend to get those treatments. Our vascular surgeons are trained in everything: open, complicated surgery and in minimally invasive, endovascular procedures. Some patients need one, some need the other, while many need no surgery at all. MetroHealth vascular surgeons are “treatment agnostic,” that is, they don’t prefer any kind of treatment over another. Patients can be assured they will get the best treatment for their needs.

Will you see the surgeon after the procedure?

Vascular disease is an ongoing lifelong clinical problem- even after successful intervention for a blocked artery or aneurysm. Health issues which damage arteries and veins always need to be watched. Your vascular surgeon- along with your internist- will monito your vascular health and make every effort to keep small problems small. Some types of surgeons come into your life to perform a procedure, make sure you heal and then leave; that’s their role. A vascular surgeon may be someone who treats you on an ongoing basis for decades. A vascular surgeon very often has long-term relationships with patients because vascular disease can be a long-term condition. If you have vascular disease, you can trust a vascular surgeon to care about your long-term health and to consider all your options.

The MetroHealth Vascular Surgery Team Approach

The heart and vascular specialists at MetroHealth Heart & Vascular Institute are dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of patients with any condition that affects the body’s blood vessels. This includes arteries, veins and lymphatic system, part of the circulatory system that helps fight infection and removes fluid from tissues.

Because blood vessel conditions and diseases may involve more than one of the body's systems at a time, a team approach ensures comprehensive care of patients with both routine and complex conditions. With a skilled team of recognized experts, we bring together vascular surgeons, interventional cardiologists, vascular medicine specialists, interventional radiologists, infectious disease specialists, plastic surgeons, wound care specialists, and a specially trained nursing staff for excellence in blood vessel diagnosis and expert treatment. Your surgeon is always backed up by his or her skilled partner and team-  at no point will you ever be left stranded for vascular care in the MetroHealth system. 

Vascular Diseases Managed by MetroHealth Vascular Surgery

  • Aortic Aneurysm
  • Carotid artery disease
  • Critical limb ischemia
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Lymphedema
  • Peripheral arterial Disease (PAD)
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Varicose Veins
  • Venous Insufficiency
  • Wound care
Content reprinted with permission from the Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS).


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