- Vascular surgery is a specialty dealing with diseases affecting the vascular system including diseases of arteries, veins and lymphatic vessels. Many patients referred to a vascular specialist do not require surgical or radiological intervention, but rather reassurance and lifestyle advice (lose weight, take regular exercise) coupled with measures to reduce their future risk of heart disease and stroke (antiplatelet and lipid-lowering therapy, blood pressure control). Additionally smoking is a major cause of vascular disease and over 80 per cent of vascular patients are current or ex-smokers.
- Some referred patients require further investigation by clinical vascular scientists or radiologists, with a view to interventional radiology treatments such as balloon angioplasty or stenting. Only a small proportion will require surgery.