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vascular surgery

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by adjsmj, Jan 4, 2002.

  1. adjsmj

    adjsmj Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 20, 2000
    coatesville, Pa, usa
    What does a vascular surgeon do? Is it strictly as the name implies? Do they perform the surgeries from start to finish or are they brought in when the need arises? Also how long is the fellowship.
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  3. mrp

    mrp Member 10+ Year Member

    May 9, 2001
    Vascular surgeons are concerned with arteries and veins that are not in the chest (this is the realm of the CT surgeon). So, vascular surgeons do things like reaming out occluded carotid arteries (CEA's), bypassing clogged femoral arteries (fem-pop bypasses), doing AAA (abdominal aortic anuerysm) repairs (both open and endovascular), placing hemodialysis access loops, and many other things. This specialty is basically plumbing--if blood isn't flowing through an artery, you go in and fix it either by roto-rooting or bypassing the blockage.

    Yes, they do complete cases from beginning to end. This is probably true for the majority of their cases. However, they are also very frequently called in on trauma cases that involved severe arterial compromise.

    Vascular surgeons are arguably one of the most technically skilled surgical sub-specialties, although I'm sure many people will vociferously disagree with this. They have to be able to sew with incredibly fine suture material on small arteries, and their sewing must be as water tight as possible. If you do this as a career, get used to wearing loupes (these are the funny looking glasses that magnify). Also get used to being woken up in the middle of the night with lots of emergencies (acute arterial occlusions or ruptured AAA's need to be repaired immediately).

    the vascular surgeons I worked with during my surg rotation loved it, but it is a long haul in terms of training--a 5 year general surgery residency, following by a 2(?) year vascular surg fellowship.

  4. GTMD2Bee

    GTMD2Bee Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 11, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    Generally, most of the vascular fellowships that I know about are two years. One dedicated to research and one for the OR.
  5. Sheerstress

    Sheerstress Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 23, 2001
    In my observations, a vascular surgeon has to have a very high boiling point - the surgeries can be very delicate and time consuming.
  6. Bovie2Me

    Bovie2Me Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 2, 2002
    In addition, the patients are frequently sicker than stink (chock full of co-morbities) unless you limit yourself to creating fistulas for dialysis.

    The upside is that the VA system is laden with prospective vascular patients.
  7. Floyd77803

    Floyd77803 Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    Kalamazoo, MI, USA
    my good friends dad is a vascular surgeon at a busy level 1 trauma center in detroit. From what i've heard he works some horrible hours. He is often called in the middle of the night to do surgeries that can last up to 12 hours, then goes to work on the surgeries he already had scheduled for the next day. Sounds like a pretty stressful field if you ask me.
  8. dr.evil

    dr.evil Senior Member Physician 7+ Year Member

    Oct 30, 2001
    I know a resident who matched in a vascular fellowship at Mayo that is only 1 year (no year of research).

    Life can be bad if you involve yourself in vascular trauma but many vascular guys restrict their practice to the bread and butter cases. Just depends on what you like.
  9. droliver

    droliver Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    May 1, 2001

    unfortunately "bread & butter" vascular cases include middle of the night revascularizations of embolic/thrombotic problems (irrespective of trauma). Vascular surgery is a lot of fun to do electively, but the call you're obliged to do is full of disasters frequently.

    As far as fellowship training goes, the one year vascular fellowships will be gone soon due to the # of endovascular procedures that will be required to sit for boards. All programs will be 2 or 3 years (if some of the programs with lab time keep that year) in the near future. FYI

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