What is vascular surgery

Vascular surgery is a relatively young surgical field that deals with the treatment of advanced forms of vascular disease, especially of the arteries. Of course, we can also operate on varicose veins, but we concentrate most of our efforts on severely diseased arteries (or arterioles) affected in modern times mainly by arteriosclerosis or atherosclerosis.
This degenerative disease, which on the one hand is the source of many jokes but on the other hand has stood fearlessly at the top of the list of causes of death for years, damages our arteries in a wide variety of places in the body and in a wide variety of ways.

Some of this has been handed down to us by our ancestors, such as inborn errors of fat metabolism, a tendency to high blood pressure or diabetes (and these diseases promote the development of atherosclerosis), and some of it is our own fault (sedentary lifestyle, overeating, smoking - these habits are no match for the inborn causes in terms of risk). Yet we are living longer than generations before us, and the incidence and severity of atherosclerotic disease is increasing with age.

Put simply, atherosclerosis either narrows and closes our arteries (the obliterative form) or widens them (the dilated form).

The first type leads to various manifestations of impaired blood flow: the most common is the so-called ischaemic disease of the lower limbs, which prevents patients from walking for long periods and, in advanced forms, leads to limb endangerment. Many strokes are caused by atherosclerotic arterial involvement of the arteries supplying the brain, and a similar mechanism underlies coronary artery disease (angina), which is treated by cardiologists and heart surgeons.

The second type results in the formation of so-called aneurysms or aneurysms, which, especially when located in large arteries such as the aorta and its branches, can threaten the life of their bearer by rupturing and bleeding.

There are many other diseases and conditions that have to do with vascular surgery - these include vascular injuries and sudden events such as some acute arterial occlusions.
We do not have enough space to list them in detail. However, the important thing is that most of these conditions and situations can be diagnosed and treated by modern vascular surgery. Today's vascular surgeon works closely with the radiologist, and many procedures can now be performed in a less bloody way than in the past.

The essential advice for the success of future treatment can be summed up in two words: arrive early!