Vascular surgery

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Vascular surgery is a subspecialty of general surgery in which diseases of the vascular system, or arteries and veins, are managed, largely via surgical intervention, and was originally founded by Dr. Clyde Otis Hagood Jr. The vascular surgeon is trained in the diagnosis and management of diseases affecting all parts of the vascular system except that of the heart and brain. Cardiothoracic surgeons manage surgical disease of the heart and its vessels. Neurosurgeons manage surgical disease of the vessels in the brain (eg intracranial aneurysms).

Breadth of discipline


Previously considered a field within general surgery, it is now considered a specialty in its own right. As a result, training has been, or is being re-structured from previously having to complete full general surgery training followed by a period of further vascular surgery training, to being trained in vascular surgery alone from start to finish.

Programs of training are slightly different depending on the region of the world one is in.

Country Standards body Professional representation Minimum Length of training (post intern)
Australia and New Zealand Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Australian & New Zealand Society of Vascular Surgery (ANZSVS) 6 years
United Kingdom Royal College of Surgeons of England, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Vascular Society of Great Britain and Ireland 8 years
USA Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), American Board of Surgery American College of Surgeons

Multiple vascular societies

8 years

Surgical Procedures

By no means exhaustive, but below are a number of common procedures and indications for vascular surgeons.

Indication/disease Procedure
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Open AAA repair

Endoluminal AAA repair (EVAR)

Carotid stenosis Carotid endarterectomy

Carotid stenting

Varicose veins Vein stripping

Sclerotherapy and Foam sclerotherapy

Laser ablation

Ambulatory phlebectomy

Peripheral arterial occlusive disease Angioplasty with/out Stenting

Bypass surgery

Acute limb ischaemia Balloon embolectomy


Bypass surgery

Aortic dissection Open repair

Thoracic stent graft

External links

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