Arteries, veins and lymphatic vessels form the vascular system of our body and vascular surgery is a specialty dealing with diseases affecting the vascular system The diseases affecting our vascular system involve the obstruction in the blood flow due to blockages (aneurysms) in the vessels. The minor blockages do not cause symptoms but the blockages in the major vessels are certainly a cause of worry. The disorders of the vascular system are completely different than the other common disorders and the majority cases of blockages require surgery to correct the path for the blood flow. The various vascular disorders that adversely affect quality of life, such as intermittent claudication, chronic venous diseases ( known as varicose veins), lymphatic disorders, hyperhidrosis, thoracic outlet syndrome, vascular malformations and many more. The vascular surgeons are extremely skilled and trained surgeons in the diagnosis and management of the diseases affecting all parts of the vascular system except the heart and the brain. and are also part of the team for difficult surgeries involving blockages of vessels in cardiac, neuro and other general surgeries.
The vascular and endovascular surgeries traditionally have been the open surgeries; however, the minimal invasive techniques have replaced the open surgeries unless and until indicated in certain complicate cases of aneurysms. The minimal invasive procedures generally involve correcting the vascular problem using minimum incisions or at times no incisions at all. These procedures involve the use of catheters and implantable devices. This procedure is very helpful in correcting carotid artery disease, aortic aneurysms, and blockages in arteries throughout the body.
Vascular surgeries are performed for various diseases affecting the entire vascular system and thus the various surgical interventions are cerebral aneurysm ( affecting the Central nervous system), acute arterial and graft occlusion affecting circulatory system, carotid endarterectomy ( affecting cardiovascular system), endovascular grafting ( affecting vascular system as whole) , vasculogenic erectile dysfunction ( affecting reproduction system), renal artery aneurysm ( affecting renal functions), surgery on varicose veins ( affecting lower limbs)and lower extremity amputation as seen in peripheral vascular diseases and diabetic foot.
In general there are no specific symptoms of the vascular disease. The formation of clot and its blockade of the veins may be experienced suddenly. The sudden symptoms include swelling for the affected part, reddish blue discolouration, warm skin, enlargement of the superficial veins. There could be pain and inability to walk or lift the affected part.
The clinical examination includes assessment of the affected part and the related organ system and based on the assessment and evaluation the new course of action shall be determined.
vascular surgeries are fine surgeries involving repairs on the arteries, veins and vessels. Once the blood vessels are free of blockages, major medical problems disappear and one can have better quality of life.
Like any surgery there are some risks involved while repairing the major arteries and veins. Patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, lung, and kidney and liver diseases always carry a risk for any type of surgery. Chronic Smoking and alcohol consumption are additional health hazards. Post-surgery there could be risks of failed blockage, bleeding, heart attacks, stroke etc. It is essential that for all the major vessel surgeries the pro and cons of the intervention, risks involved based of the physical examination of the patient, medical history and comorbid conditions must be discussed with the surgeon and the treating physician.
I am suffering from varicose veins and need to see a surgeon. Which specialty should I contact?
Varicose veins are the disease of the veins. You need to contact a vascular surgeon. Who will help patient with carotid artery aneurysm surgeries?This specialised surgery is handled by the vascular surgeon in collaboration with the cardiologist.
Is surgery the only option for varicose veins?
The decision for surgery depends on many factors such as type of vein and its affected branches, patient’s signs and symptoms. There are many alternative options to the surgery that the vascular surgeon shall opt for such as sclerotherapy, laser treatment etc.
Can aneurysm increase in size if left untreated?
Yes; over the period of time they can increase. The aneurysm in the major blood vessels can lead to medical emergencies if not diagnosed and treated timely.
Can people be borne with aneurysms?
Yes; congenital aneurysms are known. They are surgically treated by specialised paediatric surgeons.
Can varicose veins recur after the surgery?
Yes, varicose veins can recur over the period of time; it could the same vessel or some other vessels could get affected. Therefore, it is essential to follow lifestyle major, weight reduction programmes and exercise schedule to prevent recurrence.
Angioplasty is a specialised procedure performed in a Cath lab (cardiac catheterisation laboratory). Since the patients are awake and alert through the procedure, they are given medication before and during angioplasty procedure to help relax
Coronary angiography is an imaging technique or a radiological test that helps visualize the insides of the coronary arteries. It shows the exact location and severity of any plaque formation and consequent narrowing of the coronary arteries. This helps the doctor to decide on what treatment is needed.
Our heart is located in our chest cavity and is a pump made of special muscles known as myocardium. Our heart is divided into four chambers; two upper chambers known as auricles (atria) and two lower chambers are known as ventricles. They are interconnected by a passage and the opening and closing is controlled by valves.
The rhythmicity of the heart beat is based on the electric impulses. These impulses are initiated by the contraction of the cardiac muscles also known as myocardium.
Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is a type of surgery that improves blood flow to the heart. Surgeons use CABG to treat people who have severe coronary heart disease (CHD). Symptoms of coronary artery disease include chest pain, fatigue, palpitations, abnormal heart rhythms and shortness of breath.
A ventricular septal defect (VSD) is an opening or hole in the wall that separates the two lower chambers of the heart. This wall is the ventricular septum. The hole causes oxygen-rich blood to leak from the left side of the heart to the right side.
The upper chambers of the heart are divided a wall called “interatrial septum”. The defect in this wall is known as Atrial septal defect (ASD). It is a form of a congenital heart defect, the defect the baby is born with.