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Vascular surgery

What does a vascular surgeon do?

Vascular surgery began to become separate during the period of the development of the so-called modern surgery and developed into an independent field of science in the 1840s. Its main field of activity is the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the human body’s vascular plexus (veins and arteries). Vascular disorders such as various aneurisms, thrombosis, deep vein thrombosis, and varicose veins can be mentioned in the first place. In addition, the vascular surgeon also treats vascular diseases that are caused by high blood pressure and diabetes.

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Vascular problems affect both sexes, whereas venous diseases are more common in women, while atherosclerosis is a more common problem in men.

The structure and functions of the vascular plexus

The human vascular plexus is made up of arteries, capillaries, and veins that encompass our bodies, delivering essential oxygen to the tissues. If we compare two arteries and veins of the same diameter, we find more elastic fibres in the wall of the arteries, a thicker layer of muscle, and as a result, the arteries are flexible and resistant to the tensioning effect of blood pressure.

Veins, on the other hand, dilate more easily and are less flexible. Various circulatory diseases (such as varicose veins) are insufficient function and disease of these veins.

While the arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from our hearts, the varicose veins ensure the removal of carbon-rich blood from the tissues. Several types of disease can affect this type of blood vessel, of which varicose veins are the most common, and it is also known in common parlance as “I have varicose veins”.

In varicose veins, the blood vessel wall abnormally thickens or dilates, so it does not do its job properly, that is, it does not efficiently deliver used, carbon-rich blood to the heart. Varicose veins are mainly found in the veins of the legs and thighs but can also develop elsewhere.

Although the field of vascular surgery covers all parts of the body where arterial disease (whether cervical or abdominal) can occur, Medicover Private Hospital has specialists treating varicose veins.

With what complaints should we see a vascular surgeon?

  • When walking, you experience a high degree of pain in the upper thigh or back of the leg, which decreases after stopping
  • Wounds/ulcers on the limbs (especially the legs are affected) appear that are difficult to heal, regardless of whether an injury has occurred
  • Large, winding varicose veins adorn the legs
  • By the end of the day, the area around the leg and ankle swells, causing a heavy foot sensation
  • Very thin varicose veins appear on the legs, primarily causing an aesthetic problem
  • Limb pain that also occurs at rest
  • Limb wounds
  • Weakness of arm or leg muscles
  • Cramping, tingling sensation
  • Itchy feet, oedema
  • Discoloured skin near the affected vein(s)

How do we diagnose vascular diseases?

In the first round, a detailed medical history is recorded, followed by visual inspection of the affected body part and then a physical examination. Thereafter, if necessary, an ultrasound examination is performed. If the cervical ultrasound shows a 60-70% narrowing of the carotid arteries, or if the CT scan shows 3-4 cm of aortic dilation, further consultation with a specialist is most certainly needed.

How does a vascular surgery examination go?

After questioning the patient and fully investigating the complaint, reviewing the available medical documentation, a physical examination will follow, which will not cause any discomfort or pain. Thereafter, the physician may order an imaging ultrasound diagnostic procedure to establish an accurate diagnosis.

If the vascular surgeon deems it necessary, they will suggest a surgical solution, which may be a conventional or laser procedure depending on your condition.

Vascular surgery - Medicover

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