Vascular and Thoracic Surgery
Vascular surgery specializes in the surgical treatment of blood vessels. There are two types of blood vessels: the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body and the veins that bring the blood back to the heart. The disease that damages the arteries is called arteriosclerosis, also known as peripheral vascular disease (PVD). This leads to blockage of the arteries or weakness of the walls with the occurrence of aneurysms.
Vascular surgeons repair the damaged arteries and sometimes replace them with artificial grafts. This is called peripheral bypass because the blood is rerouted to bypass the blocked artery. This is similar to coronary bypass performed by heart surgeons for the damaged arteries in the heart.
A specific condition treated by vascular surgeons is the unblocking of the arteries that bring blood to the brain. These arteries are called carotid arteries. When these arteries are blocked, patients may develop a stroke. This surgery, called carotid endarterectomy, also carries the risk of a stroke but the risk is much smaller than if the condition is left untreated.
Many times Interventional Radiologists and Interventional Cardiologists are consulted to help with treatment for the patient. Consideration is given not only to bypass procedures but also less invasive angioplasty and stent procedures to maximize outcomes.
The venous disease treated by surgery is called varicose veins. The surgery for varicose veins, although based on the same principles that have been used in the past, is done nowadays with new techniques in order to minimize scarring and increase patient satisfaction.
Thoracic surgery is surgery performed in the chest which includes the lungs, pleura and the esophagus. Heart surgery is not performed in our practice. This specialty uses minimally invasive procedures (scope) for the diagnosis and treatment of lung and pleural disease as well as open resection of lung and esophageal cancers.
Tumors in the lungs which may need surgical removal could be cancerous or non-cancerous. The extent of lung removal is based on the type of tumor and the location of the tumor in the lung. In cases of cancer, like in many other cancers, a team approach, including medical oncologists (for chemotherapy and radiation), gives the best results.