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There are about 60,000 miles of blood vessels — arteries, veins and capillaries — that comprise the adult circulatory system.
*Source: National Institutes of Health

Understanding Vascular Surgery

Vascular surgery focuses on the treatment of diseases and issues encompassing the system of arteries and veins that transport blood throughout the body. Vascular and cardiothoracic surgeons partner to treat patients with heart and lung conditions.

Vascular surgery at WellStar encompasses the full breadth of conditions involving the vascular system to include:


  • Arterial diseases, such as aneurysms, ischemia and cerebrovascular disorders
  • Venous diseases, such as deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, and venous malformations
  • Lymphatic diseases, such as lymphedema
  • Vascular diseases, such as Raynaud’s Syndrome, scleroderma and hyperhidrosis

Endovascular surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery that uses major blood vessels to access many parts of the body. Though originally developed for diagnostic purposes, endovascular techniques are being used increasingly to treat vascular disease. New intravascular technologies like balloons, stents and coils, have allowed for alternative therapies to more invasive surgeries.

Commonly performed surgical procedures that fall under the umbrella of vascular surgery include:


  • Carotid endarterectomy, the surgical removal of the plaque lining the carotid artery that carries blood to the brain
  • Angioplasty stenting, the surgical widening of blood vessels to improve blood flow and the installation of tiny metal mesh tubes to keep the vessels wide open
  • Dialysis access, a minor surgical procedure to bolster blood vessels to allow blood to be removed and returned during dialysis