The Department of Vascular Surgery provides comprehensive services for patients with all types of peripheral vascular disorders, including the new technology of catheter-based intervention as well as traditional surgical treatments.

Our physicians specialize in the diagnosis and management of carotid artery disease, aortic aneurysms, and poor circulation to the legs and the abdominal organs.Our care extends to the full range of arterial, venous, and lymphatic disorders, including diseases of the carotid artery, aorta, visceral, and extremity arteries.

Common Conditions Treated

Peripheral Arterial Disease: Peripheral arterial disease is a very common condition affecting 12–20 percent of people aged 65 and older. It develops most commonly as a result of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, which occurs when cholesterol and scar tissue build up, forming a substance called plaque inside the arteries.

This is a very serious condition. Individuals with PAD are likely to have blocked arteries in other areas of the body. Thus, those with PAD are at increased risk for heart disease, aortic aneurysms and stroke. PAD is also a marker for diabetes, hypertension and other conditions.

Common Symptoms Include:

  • The most common symptom of is called intermittent claudication, which is painful cramping in the leg or hip that occurs when walking or exercising and typically disappears when the person stops the activity.
  • Numbness, tingling and weakness in the lower legs and feet
  • Burning or aching pain in feet or toes when resting
  • Sore on leg or foot that won’t heal
  • Cold legs or feet
  • Color change in skin of legs or feet
  • Loss of hair no legs
  • Have pain in the legs or feet that awakens you at night

Many people simply live with their pain, assuming it is a normal part of aging, rather than reporting it to their doctor.

Venous thrombosis: Deep vein thrombosis is caused by a blood clot in a deep vein and can be life-threatening. Symptoms may include swelling, pain, and tenderness, often in the legs. Risk factors include immobility, hormone therapy, and pregnancy.

What are the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis?

  • Redness,
  • Warmth,
  • Tenderness,
  • Swelling, and
  • Often the affected vein can be palpated (felt) as a firm, thickened cord. There may be inflammation that follows the course of part of the vein.

Aortic dissection: Aortic dissection occurs when a tear occurs in the inner muscle wall lining of the aorta, allowing blood to split apart the muscle layers of the aortic wall.

What are the signs and symptoms of aortic dissection?

  • Pain is the most common symptom of aortic dissection and is often described as tearing or ripping and often begins suddenly.
  • There may be associated nausea, sweating, shortness of breath, and weakness.
  • The patient may pass out (syncope).
  • The pain of aortic dissection can be confused with that of heart attack, but can sometimes be distinguished because of its sudden onset, potentially normal electrocardiogram, and abnormal findings on chest X-ray.
  • The pain of an abdominal aortic dissection can be confused with the pain caused by a kidney stone. The diagnosis is made when a CT scan looking for the kidney stone reveals an aneurysm instead.

Carotid Artery Disease: Carotid artery disease occurs when the major arteries in your neck become narrowed or blocked. These arteries, called the carotid arteries, supply your brain with blood. Your carotid arteries extend from your aorta in your chest to the brain inside your skull.

What are the symptoms?

Carotid artery disease may not cause symptoms in its early stages.

  • The first sign of carotid artery disease could be a stroke. However, you may experience warning symptoms of a stroke called transient ischemic attacks, or TIAsFeeling weakness, numbness, or a tingling sensation on one side of your body, for example, in an arm or a leg
  • Being unable to control the movement of an arm or a leg
  • Losing vision in one eye (many people describe this sensation as a window shade coming down)
  • Being unable to speak clearly

Transient Ischemic Attacks: A TIA happens when blood flow to part of the brain is blocked or reduced often by a blood clot. After a short time, blood flows again and the symptoms go away. With a stroke, the blood flow stays blocked, and the brain has permanent damage.

Symptoms of a TIA are the same as symptoms of a stroke. But symptoms of a TIA occur suddenly and don’t last very long. Most of the time, they go away in 10 to 20 minutes. They may include:

  • Sudden numbness, tingling, weakness, or paralysis in your face, arm, or leg, especially on only one side of your body.
  • Sudden vision changes.
  • Sudden trouble speaking.
  • Sudden confusion or trouble understanding simple statements.
  • Sudden problems with walking or balance.
  • A sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches.

Critical limb ischemia: Critical limb ischaemia (CLI) is a manifestation of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) that describes patients with chronic ischaemic rest pain, or patients with ischaemic skin lesions, either ulcers or gangrene.

The clinical diagnosis of CLI should be confirmed by haemodynamic parameters such as the ankle- or toe systolic pressure. The estimated annual incidence of CLI ranges between 500 and 1 000 new cases per 1 million, with diabetes being the most important risk factor.

CLI is also a marker for mostly generalized and severe atherosclerosis, and therefore the prognosis of patients is poor concerning overall survival

Carotid stenosis: Carotid artery stenosis occurs when the carotid arteries narrow. The carotid arteries are major arteries found on each side of the neck. They supply blood from the heart to the brain.

This condition is a major risk factor for ischemic stroke. Ischemic stroke is when blood flow to the brain is blocked due to blood clots. Carotid artery stenosis is a potentially serious condition that requires care from your doctor.

There are usually no symptoms. Tell your doctor if you have symptoms of a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA or mini-stroke). This is a warning sign that you may have carotid artery stenosis. Symptoms may include:

  • Blindness, blurry or dim vision
  • Weakness, numbness, or tingling of the face, arm, leg, or one side of the body
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding words
  • Dizziness, unsteadiness of gait, or falling
  • Trouble with balance or coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sudden confusion or loss of memory

Thoracic and thoracoabdominal aneurysm: A thoracoabdominal aneurysm (TAA) is a bulging or expanding area of the section of the aorta (body’s largest artery) that extends from the chest to the abdomen. Thoracoabdominal aneurysms can be one of the most complex aneurysms to treat due to their location.

The greatest concern with a TAA is that it may grow quickly and rupture or leak blood. Aneurysms that rupture can cause severe internal bleeding, which can be fatal. Fortunately, this condition can be successfully treated and cured when diagnosed prior to rupture.

Most people do not initially experience symptoms with thoracoabdominal aneurysm. However, the following symptoms may indicate that an aneurysm is present:

  • Mass in the abdomen
  • Pulsating in your abdomen (similar to a heartbeat)
  • Sores, discoloration or pain on your feet (due to material shed from an aneurysm)
  • Stiff or rigid abdomen
  • Sudden, intense pain in your chest, abdomen or lower back (may signify an aneurysm that is about to rupture; seek immediate medical care)

A ruptured aneurysm is very dangerous and requires emergency medical care. Symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm include:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Pain

We provide non-invasive diagnostic vascular laboratory studies, conservative medical and exercise treatments, and minimally invasive percutaneous treatments