Specialty of Vascular Surgery Defined

Vascular surgery encompasses the diagnosis and management of disorders of the arterial, venous and lymphatic systems, exclusive of the intracranial vessels and the heart. In addition to experience with dissection and control of blood vessels that general surgery trainees gain, diplomates in vascular surgery, by virtue of additional training, should have significant experience with all aspects of treating patients with all types of vascular disease, including diagnosis, medical treatment, and reconstructive vascular surgical and endovascular techniques.

Specialists in vascular surgery should possess the advanced knowledge and skills to provide comprehensive care to patients with vascular disease, understand the needs of these patients, teach this information to others, provide leadership within their organizations, conduct or participate in research in vascular disorders, and demonstrate self-assessment of their outcomes.

The vascular surgeon must have advanced knowledge and experience with the management of vascular problems including:

1. All elements of clinical evaluation; noninvasive testing including plethysmography, duplex ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging, CT scans, angiography, and other diagnostic tests as they are utilized in the diagnosis of vascular disease.

2. Comprehensive management of vascular disease to include drug therapy and risk factor management.

3. Indications and techniques relating to open operative treatment of vascular disorders to include the entire spectrum of interventions used to treat vascular disorders including occlusive, aneurysmal, and inflammatory disease involving the arteries and veins of the body except the intracranial vessels and vessels intrinsic to the heart. This includes the cerebrovascular system including intrathoracic arch branches but exclusive of the intracranial vessels, and also includes the entire descending thoracic and abdominal aorta, the venous system of the chest and abdomen, the visceral and renal arteries, and the arteries and veins of the pelvis and upper and lower extremities.

4. Indications and techniques relating to endovascular interventions including balloon angioplasty and/or stenting of all vessels (excluding the intracranial and coronary arteries), aortic and peripheral artery endovascular stent graft placement, thrombolysis, and other adjuncts for vascular reconstructions.

5. The perioperative critical care of the vascular surgery patient.

Updated: March 2010

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