Vascular Surgery

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by Vash311, Jun 13, 2002.

  1. Vash311

    Vash311 Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2002
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    What exactly does this surg. specialty entail as far as procedures? Also, what's the outlook, pay scale, lifestyle, etc. of this field? Thanks!
  2. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
    Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Verified Expert Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
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    Attending Physician
    Seeing as I'm between patients in Vascular Surgery Clinic ("dead toe Thursday" <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> ) I thought I'd take some time to answer.

    The range of procedures done by a vascular surgeon is fairly broad, the include (but are not limited to), the following:

    bypass grafting - upper and lower extremity, and abdominal compartment (ie, fem-pops, aorto-biiliac, aorto-fem-fem, axillary-fem, etc.)
    aneurysm repair - most typically, abdominal aortic aneurysms
    carotid endartectomy
    varicose vein stripping/ligation/sclerotherapy
    amputations (generally, toes and legs)
    debridement of multiple toes in various stages of gangrene; multiple dressing changes
    placement of vascular access devices, or AV fistula placement

    Our surgeons here work closely with the Interventional Radiologists, CT Surgeons and Vascular lab techs. While generally the hours are not too bad, the very *REAL* possibility of emergencies and grafts going down on you means that you can often be in the OR after hours/on weekends. It is EXTREMELY painful to see a graft fail after a 7 hour bypass operation (get yourself some comfy shoes and compression stockings, you'll NEED them as a vascular surgeon) and know that you need to go back to the OR urgently for repair. Clinics are painful because you see an endless succession of people in various stages of venous ulceration, arterial disease and with dead toes/feet. Hope you like Diabetics - most of your patients will be one. Hope you like amputations - you'll be salaming patients right and left.

    Vascular is a very important surgical specialty and they serve a great purpose; its just not for me (as you can tell)!
  3. droliver

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    May 1, 2001
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    Attending Physician
    A number of vascular surgeons will also do general surgery case as part of their practice as well. Endovascular procedures are clearly the future for vascular surgery & will likely replace many of the traditional proximal bypasses of the lower extremities. Future generations of vascular surgeons will likely spend more time in endovascular equipped OR suites under fluro than they will be doing many of the open,traditional procedures.

    Vascular surgery is traditionally a very lucrative field, but the hours in practice are long & ischemic limbs ALWAYS present @ about 2am :) . I'm like Kimberli, I like doing vascular cases & I feel I'm pretty good @ it, but it just is not my bag

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