Check Out Some of Our Most Commonly Asked Questions

What Is a Vascular Surgeon?

A vascular surgeon manages arteries and veins in every part of the body except the heart and the brain.

The vascular surgeon is trained to manage and diagnose diseases impacting all parts of the vascular system. They use operative intervention, medical management and other treatment alternatives.

Vascular surgeons ensure patients with vascular health issues know and understand their options and have training in treatment options from minimally invasive procedures to open surgery.

What Does a Vascular Surgeon Do?

Vascular surgeons treat complications from:

  • Diabetes.
  • Blood clots.
  • Aneurysms.
  • Varicose veins.
  • Vascular diseases.
  • Blockages in the veins or arteries.

When Should I See a Vascular Surgeon?

Signs that you may need to see a vascular surgeon include:

  • Your legs hurt when you walk.
  • You experience sudden, severe back and abdominal pain.
  • Your legs are discolored, aching or swollen, and develop wounds or ulcers.
  • You suddenly experience weakness, numbness or tingling of one side of your body. You also may have blurred vision or feel confused.

What to Expect at a Vascular Surgeon

At your first appointment with a vascular surgeon, they will examine your abnormal blood vessels. After performing the exam, your surgeon will ask you questions about your symptoms, lifestyle and medical history.

A vascular surgeon will then diagnose your condition, recommend treatment and help you develop a treatment plan. If this plan involves surgical intervention, you can usually schedule surgery at the end of this appointment.

Treatment options include:

  • Continuing conservative treatments.

What Is a Doppler?

A unique ultrasound technique, a Doppler bounces high-frequency sound waves off circulating blood cells to estimate blood flow through a blood vessel. Vascular flow studies will show abnormal flow within a vein or artery.

A complete venous Doppler exam takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to perform. A specially-trained sonographer will carry out the procedure before a vascular physician reviews it.

This noninvasive test may help identify:

  • Blood clots.
  • Aneurysms.
  • Arterial occlusion.
  • Peripheral artery disease.
  • The narrowing of a blood vessel.
  • Poorly functioning valves in your leg veins.

What Is a Venous Doppler?

A venous Doppler evaluates blood flow through veins, including the body’s major veins in the neck, legs, arms and abdomen.

What Is an Arterial Doppler?

An arterial Doppler evaluates blood flow in arteries and helps identify narrow, bulging or blocked arteries.

What Is Duplex Ultrasound?

Duplex ultrasound is a noninvasive test that evaluates the flow of blood through your veins and arteries. The results from this test help your vascular surgeon outline a treatment plan and make a sound diagnosis.

The types of duplex ultrasound exams vary and can include:

  • Duplex ultrasound of the extremities that looks at the legs or arms.
  • A renal duplex ultrasound, which examines the kidneys and their blood vessels.
  • An arterial and venous duplex of the abdomen, which looks at blood flow in the stomach.

What is a Carotid Duplex?

A carotid duplex is an ultrasound that displays how well blood flows through the carotid arteries.

This test is painless and creates images of the inside of the body via sound waves. A carotid duplex is conducted in a radiology department or vascular lab.

What are the symptoms of TOS?

The symptoms for TOS include:

  • An arm that tires quickly
  • Discomfort or tingling in the fingers
  • Weakness or pain in the arm or shoulder
  • Atrophy of the muscle of the palm that leads to the thumb or the pad of the thumb

Premier Vascular Center of Maryland