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Vascular Surgery Terms to Know
Did you know that if you took all of the veins, capillaries and arteries from your body and laid them out flat that they would stretch out for over 100 feet? That's a pretty long distance to cover, so it's no surprise that millions of American visit their primary physicians, pediatricians and gynecologists for vascular related diseases and ailments every year. But if you're like most people, you know what your heart and veins do for your overall well being, but not much else. That's what makes the thought of surgery or a vascular related disease so frightening for so many people. Fortunately, you don't need to be a surgeon or cardiologist to understand the basics of vascular surgery. Just know a few of these common terms will help you better understand what your primary care doctor, pediatrician or gynecologist is telling you.
Angioplasty - One of the most commonly performed heart surgeries. It usually involves the use of a small surgical balloon that's inflated inside of a clogged artery to help break loose plaque.
Cardiologist - Any doctor or surgeon who works exclusively with the human heart.
Cardiothoracic - Any doctor who specializes in caring for the well being of organs contained within the chest is considered a cardiothoracic physician.
Cardiovascular - This term describes the big picture anything related to your heart and blood vessels. Cardiovascular health simply refers to the overall condition of your heart and blood vessels.
Varicose Vein - A condition that occurs when the vein in the leg become enlarged. This condition can be very uncomfortable and reveals itself in spider web like markings on the leg.
Vascular surgery is an area of health care that specifically treats vessel and artery diseases. Vascular surgery can only be performed by a surgeon that has been specifically certified to work in this area. While other physicians can offer good advice about cardiovascular health, circulation, nerve damage, and blood flow, they are trained to provide surgical treatments.
Even within the area of vascular surgery, many doctors choose to specialize in certain diseases and health conditions. For instance, some surgeons choose to treat trauma patients that have experienced damage to their veins, blood vessels, and arteries. Others, however, work with patients that need medical therapy to overcome problems caused by damaged hearts, veins, and blood vessels. These doctors often work with patients that are at risk of aneurysms, blood clots, heart attacks, and neurovascular disorders.
Although most vascular system surgeons should know how to treat varicose veins, artery blockages, aortas, and damaged heart walls, not all medical facilities have the same types of technology. Depending on the type of ailment that you experience, you might need to find a facility that has specific types of medical equipment beyond those commonly used. Doing so other increases the chance of effective treatment.
You can learn more about the experts that work in your area by talking to your insurance company or searching the internet for health care websites. These options should help you find a doctor that can provide the catheters, diagnoses, and surgery options that you need. You might also want to talk to other patients that have had undergone vascular surgery treatments to fix heart valves, veins, arteries, and other parts of the vascular system.