CHI Memorial Vascular Surgery Specialists focus on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the blood vessels, excluding those in the heart and brain. The blood vessels in the body include arteries, veins, and lymphatic vessels. Vascular surgeons are trained to manage diseases and disorders affecting these vessels, such as atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries), aneurysms (ballooning of the blood vessels), varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis (blood clots), and peripheral arterial disease. Surgeons perform open and endovascular procedures.
Open surgery involves making incisions to access and repair or replace the affected blood vessels. Examples of open surgical procedures include bypass grafting, in which a healthy blood vessel is used to reroute blood flow around a blocked or damaged artery, and endarterectomy, which involves removing plaque buildup from inside an artery.
Endovascular procedures are minimally invasive and involve inserting small instruments, such as catheters and wires, through small incisions or blood vessels. These procedures often use imaging techniques, such as fluoroscopy or ultrasound, to guide the surgeon. Examples of endovascular procedures include angioplasty, in which a balloon-tipped catheter is used to widen a narrowed artery, and stenting, which involves placing a small mesh tube (stent) in the artery to keep it open.
Vascular surgeons work closely with other specialists, such as interventional radiologists and cardiologists, to provide comprehensive care for patients with vascular diseases.