Frequently Asked Questions


What is a fellowship-trained surgeon?
A fellowship-trained surgeon is a physician who completes additional years of training in a subspecialty fellowship program following completion of a general surgery residency. Our vascular surgeon has been trained and certified in general surgery and has an additional two years of specialty training in all aspects of vascular surgery and care. This training is especially valuable as it gives a physician a more comprehensive and practical knowledge about a range of treatment options available.

What is the difference between arteries and veins?
Arteries carry oxygenated blood from the heart to other organs in the body. Veins do the opposite, carrying de-oxygenated blood from various organs back to the heart.

What puts me at risk for developing vascular disease?
Factors such as gender, age, ethnicity and family history can contribute to the likelihood of developing a vascular condition. Obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking can also put you at risk.

Can I do anything to prevent vascular disease?
Paying attention to the risk factors you can control—such as maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, managing cholesterol and blood pressure— helps you stay healthy. Our vascular team can support you with:

  • Diet and exercise counseling
  • Smoking cessation support
  • Education on heart and vascular conditions
  • Lifestyle modification counseling

Screening is also an important part of preventing vascular disease because people can sometimes have a life threatening illness and not yet feel any symptoms. Vascular screening uses painless, noninvasive tests to find unsuspected conditions before they cause complications.

Is vascular disease hereditary?
A family history of vascular disease can put you at a higher risk for developing vascular conditions, especially peripheral artery disease and aneurysmal disease.     

Will I need to make lifestyle changes after treatment?
To support the effectiveness of your vascular treatment, your physician may recommend some lifestyle changes. After getting a clearance from your physician, you should:

  • Gradually introduce exercise back into your daily routine
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stay away from foods that are high in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium
  • Quit smoking
  • Limit alcohol

The physicians in the Vascular Disease Program will support you with lifestyle modification and counseling as part of your treatment plan.

What should I do to prepare for vascular surgery?
It is important to be prepared for your surgery. Before your procedure, you should:

  • Read pre-operative care instructions for your specific procedure.
  • The night before surgery, wash with antiseptic soap to remove any bacteria from the skin to reduce the risk of infection during surgery.
  • Because the effects of surgery and anesthesia can cause nausea and vomiting, do not eat or drink after midnight the night before your procedure.
  • On the day of your surgery, avoid using any make-up, cologne, perfume or any other skin products that could cause irritation or infection.

What should I expect after surgery?
After your procedure, you will be given post-operative care instructions. After getting a clearance from your physician, the most important ones to follow are:

  1. Keep incision sites clean to prevent infection.
  2. Gradually introduce movement and exercise back into your daily routine so that you don’t open or irritate incision sites.
  3. Adjust your diet, and stay away from foods high in cholesterol and saturated fat to prevent further complications.
  4. Make follow-up appointments with your physician and be sure to report any pain, swelling or numbness immediately.