The risks of vascular surgery

What are the risk factors of vascular surgery? Renowned surgeon Prof. Dr. Hardy Schumacher has carried out over 1000 operations and shares his expertise.
Vascular surgeons can treat stroke patients in a variety of ways - but what are the risk factors? Prof. Dr. Schumacher of the Hirslanden Clinic in Zurich has carried out more than 1000 operations and shared his expertise with us.

Surgical skill level

The highest risk factor for patients who need vascular surgery is the skill level of the individual surgeon who treats them.

Typically, surgeons need to have experienced several hundred cases to be able to carry out operations with as little risk as clinically possible.

During the operation

During the operation, several methods help to lower the risks of the operations. Surgeons use neuromonitoring equipment to watch the blood flow to the brain, to decrease the risk of the brain being damaged.

Quality control measures include on-table angiography, a medical imaging technique that allows the surgeon to see the inside of blood vessels and organs of the body.

A surgeon will also measure blood flow velocity, to avoid abnormal narrowing in the blood vessels that feed the brain. These measures can lower the risks of the operation during the surgical procedure.

Surgeons need to have experienced several hundred cases to be able to carry out operations with as little risk as clinically possible.

Prof. Dr. H. Schumacher

After the operation

Usually, a patient will stay in hospital for 2 to 3 days after vascular surgery, and then will be free to go home.

Annual checks using ultrasound on the site of the operation and on the other side of the neck help monitor whether the problem has returned.

Secondary prevention

Vascular surgeons also work with neurology and cardiology experts, since 1 in 3 vascular surgery patients also has coronary heart disease.

This interdisciplinary approach can lower the risk of patients suffering wider health problems in the months following surgery for a vascular problem.

In a significant number of cases, new medical problems will appear that are linked to atherosclerosis, the build-up of fatty material on the inner walls of arteries.

Vascular specialists will work in conjunction with internal medicine doctors to optimise risk factors by helping the patient optimise their medication and treating diabetes, high blood pressure, overweight and elevated lipid levels.

About Prof. Dr. Schumacher

Prof Dr Schumacher is a vascular surgeon at Hirslanden Private Clinic in Zurich. He is a renowned expert on open and endovascular surgery with experience from more than 1000 carotid operations and was one of the pioneers of minimal invasive surgery for aortic aneurysms.
Visit Website - Hirslanden Zurich

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