Vascular surgery is a specialty focused on diseases and disorders of vascular system vessels that carry blood and lymph fluid through your body.
Specialist vascular surgeons diagnose, manage, and perform surgery to treat vascular conditions. By doing so they enhance patients’ quality of life and save their lives.
Vascular surgery is the diagnosis, management, and treatment of conditions of the vascular system including arteries, veins, and lymphatic vessels.
Vascular diseases are increasingly common and can be serious. They can damage blood vessels and raise the risk of complications such as strokes and heart attacks.
Vascular surgeons perform diagnostic tests, give lifestyle advice, and provide medication. They carry out a range of minimally invasive endovascular and open surgical procedures.
Vascular surgery is performed to restore blood and lymph flow to organs in your body. It:
Vascular surgeons are experts in diseases of the arteries, veins, and lymphatic vessels. You might be referred to a vascular surgeon if you are at high risk or you have symptoms of a vascular disease.
Risk factors for vascular diseases vary depending on the specific disease. More common risk factors include:
The symptoms for each disease are different. They can include:
At your initial consultation, a vascular surgeon will discuss your symptoms and your and your family’s medical history. They will perform a physical examination which may include checking your pulse and blood pressure. Blood or imaging tests may be requested to help them diagnose your problem.
Vascular disease diagnostic tests include:
Vascular surgeons treat many types of vascular disease. The more common ones include:
Vascular surgeons may recommend non-surgical treatments. These can include lifestyle modifications such as stopping smoking, losing weight, and taking regular exercise.
Medications may also be offered to manage and treat vascular conditions. Examples include dialysis for patients whose kidneys don’t function, thrombolysis to break up dangerous blood clots and manage deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and micro-sclerotherapy to treat thread veins. Massage and compression bandaging may be used for lymphatic diseases.
The main vascular surgery procedures include:
• Carotid Artery Disease (CAD) Surgery – opens narrowed carotid arteries that are restricting blood supply. Treatment improves blood flow to your brain and reduces the risk of a stroke. It can include:
o Carotid endarterectomy - removes plaque from carotid arteries.
o Carotid angioplasty and stenting - opens up arteries using balloons and stents.
• Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Repair – reduces the risk of an aneurysm bursting in your main artery. It can be performed by:
o AAA open surgery - removes the damaged part of your aorta (the aneurysm) and replaces it with a fabric tube graft via a large incision.
o Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) - places a stent graft at the aneurysm via small incisions. EVAR is less invasive and recovery is faster.
• Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm (TAA) Repair– similar to AAA repair but for thoracic aortic aneurysms. A TAA is higher up the aorta in your chest.
o TAA open surgery – replaces the weakened portion of your aorta with a fabric graft tube via a large incision.
o Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) – uses minimally invasive surgery to place a stent graft at the aneurysm.
• Thrombectomy / Embolectomy – removes a blood clot or foreign body from a blood vessel. This prevents the vessel from being obstructed or blocked and restores blood flow to body parts.
• Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Surgery - restores blood flow through the arteries in your legs, called revascularisation. The two main types of PAD treatment are:
o PAD angioplasty and stenting - inflates a tiny balloon inside your artery to open up a blocked or narrowed section and restore blood flow.
o PAD artery bypass grafts - uses a healthy blood vessel or artificial material to bypass the blockage in your artery.
• Varicose Vein Surgery – treats problematic or unsightly varicose veins that are not resolving by conservative methods, such as compression stockings. Varicose vein surgery includes:
o laser or radiofrequency ablation - uses a heat source to close your vein
o sclerotherapy - injects a medicine to shrink your vein.
The most common vascular surgery treats arteries that are blocked by atherosclerosis (plaque). This is either carotid or peripheral artery surgery.
Endovascular aneurysm repair and thrombectomy are also frequently performed.
The costs of vascular surgery depend on your vascular disease, the best course of treatment for it, and your Ramsay hospital of choice.
After a vascular surgeon consultation, you receive a formal quote that is valid for 60 days and includes unlimited aftercare.
We have several finance options if you are paying for your surgery yourself. These include:
Vascular surgery is covered by most medical insurance policies unless it is varicose vein treatment for cosmetic reasons. We advise you to obtain written confirmation from your insurance company before having vascular surgery.
Recovery after vascular surgery depends on your condition and surgery.
Minimally invasive endovascular surgery has a much quicker recovery than open vascular surgery.
Varicose vein procedures are often performed on an outpatient basis so you can go home a few hours after surgery.
Angioplasty and stenting are often day case surgeries which means you go home the same day.
Open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair surgery is a major operation. Most patients recover in intensive care and have a five to ten day stay in the hospital. Full recovery may take two or three months.
Patients are invited for a follow-up appointment to check their recovery and to offer lifestyle advice and support.
At Ramsay Health Care, we offer a wide range of vascular services to diagnose, manage, and treat vascular disorders.
We are proud to work in partnership with leading vascular surgeons who have specialised experience in all aspects of vascular and lymph conditions. Taking a holistic approach to their patients and paying careful attention to co-morbidities, they provide the best care and treatment.
Vascular surgeons at Ramsay work as part of a multidisciplinary team to deliver multi-professional care. They work closely with specialists in vascular medicine, heart conditions (cardiovascular medicine), nervous system conditions (neurology), physical medicine and rehabilitation, and imaging (radiology).
These expert vascular surgeons carry out balloon angioplasty and complex stenting procedures, blood clot removal, and bypass surgery. They treat vascular conditions including peripheral artery disease, aortic aneurysm disease, carotid artery disease, and varicose veins.
At your local Ramsay hospital, the latest vascular and endovascular surgical techniques are performed in state-of-the-art facilities with excellent outcomes and rapid recovery.
Varicose vein surgery treats varicose veins for medical or cosmetic reasons. Varicose vein surgery involves closing off your problem varicose vein so that your blood re-routes through a healthier vein.
Sclerotherapy - thread (spider) veins removal treatment - how it works, what's involved, procedure, approach - Ramsay Health Care UK
Spider veins, also known as thread veins, are small, twisted blood vessels that appear in a spiderweb pattern through your skin often on your legs or face. They are similar to varicose veins but smaller and caused in the same way when a one-way valve in your vein, that help your blood flow back to your heart, stops working properly and your vein swells as blood flows the wrong way.
Professor Campbell brings with him forty years of experience treating patients with varicose veins. He has written many papers, a book and led major research regarding varicose veins.
Jane Benson holds the post of Theatre Manager at Exeter Medical after seventeen years spent in the theatre at the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital; latterly as a Matron in the Plastic and Reconstruction theatre.
Fiona Irvine is a highly qualified Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Exeter Medical.