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What is Venous Insufficiency?
As the number of seniors in America continues to rise so has the frequency of vascular, or blood vessel, issues. Thanks to the innovators at Ochsner, today’s patients have access to more treatments and less invasive solutions than the generation before them did.
The Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Division at Ochsner provides nationally recognized cutting-edge treatment for patients with vascular disorders - common, complex and rare. Our expertise and superior outcomes have been recognized by Healthgrades as being in the top 50 vascular surgery programs in the country.
For comprehensive medical, endovascular, and surgical management using a multidisciplinary approach, the choice is clear: Ochsner Vascular Surgery.
Why Ochsner for Vascular Care?
Ochsner Vascular and Endovascular surgeons are nationally recognized for their development and use of new technologies. In fact, Ochsner vascular surgeons have helped "write the book" on treatments of new vascular surgery procedures such as endovascular aortic aneurysm repair.
Additionally, unlike most hospitals, Ochsner has a hybrid operating room that is both an OR and a superior state-of-the-art fixed imaging suite for minimally invasive procedures. The suite makes a full-range of vascular procedures quick and easy with less risks and radiation exposure for patients. Because of this equipment, our surgeons have been able to successfully treat vascular emergencies that would have otherwise been fatal.
Patients throughout the region benefit from the high level of vascular care only Ochsner can provide at the following locations:
- Ochsner Medical Center – Jefferson Highway
- Ochsner Medical Center – West Bank Campus
- Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center – Houma
What is a Vascular Surgeon?
Ochsner vascular and endovascular surgeons treat blood vessel and vascular diseases that block, narrow or enlarge arteries affecting blood circulation to the legs, abdomen, kidneys, intestines, arms and neck. In other words, we manage arteries and veins in every part of the body except the brain and the heart. We do this by providing medical treatment, as well as endovascular and open surgical procedures.
Endovascular describes a minimally invasive approach. We also perform traditional open vascular surgery, which is more invasive and involves incisions.
Although our doctors are surgeons, we are often called vascular specialists because we also treat many patients who don’t require surgery. Some vascular conditions can be managed with proper diet, exercise and medication. We treat each patient individually and make sure you know and understand all of your treatment options.
If invasive therapy is required, the large majority of our patients are treated with minimally invasive endovascular methods. Surgical intervention is reserved for cases where there is a clear need/advantage for the patient.
Conditions and Treatments
Vascular surgeons treat a variety of diseases of the vascular system such as:
- Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
- Kidney disease on dialysis
- Leg swelling
- Varicose veins
- Blood clots
- Arm pain
- Vascular infections
- Vascular injuries
Risk factors for vascular disease include:
- A history of heart disease
- Physical inactivity
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Older age
If you are a high risk, you are encouraged to schedule an appointment with an Ochsner vascular surgeon.
Comprehensive vascular medical evaluation, including risk-factor assessment and non-operative treatment including:
- Medical / Pharmaceutical
- Wound Care (multi-disciplinary)
- Endovascular Procedures
- Surgical Procedures
Vascular surgeons perform several types of procedures, including minimally-invasive catheter-based procedures to open arteries or veins, as well as open surgery.
Some of these procedures include:
- Carotid stenting
- Renal and Mesenteric Stenting
- Balloon angioplasty and stenting for arterial occlusive disease
- Endograft treatment for Aneurysms, Aortic and Thoracic (see Aortic Services)
- Venous angioplasty/stenting
- IVC filter placement
- Catheter-directed thrombolysis and thrombectomy
- Minimally invasive vein procedures, including endovenous laser ablation of varicose veins
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening ultrasound
Open Surgical Procedures include but are not limited to:
- Thoracoabdominal and Complex Aortic Aneurysm Surgery (see Aortic Services)
- Renal/Mesenteric Bypass
- Carotid endarterectomy
- Leg Bypass for limb salvage
- Dialysis access
- Arm bypass to treat blockages and vascular steal syndrome
- Varicose vein removal
Preventable Program at Ochsner's Vascular Laboratory
Ochsner's Vascular Laboratory, accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories, is equipped to screen for and evaluate all aspects of aortic, cerebrovascular, peripheral arterial, venous and visceral vascular disorders. Preventable conditions such as abdominal aortic aneurysms are screened in our Vascular Laboratory with ultrasound. View list of services.
Varicose Vein Care
For many, varicose veins and spider veins are a cosmetic concern only. For others, they can cause aching, cramping, burning, throbbing pain and even lead to serious problems, including ulcers, blood clots, inflammation (thrombophlebitis), and bleeding of veins very close to the skin. Exercise, elevating your legs, wearing compression stockings and weight loss may lessen the pain and prevent varicose veins from getting worse. Ochsner vascular and endovascular surgeons have a depth of experience in treating varicose veins and are here to help. These procedures include endovenous laser ablation and varicose vein phlebectomy.
Research and Clinical Trials
Ochsner researchers study causes and treatment options for vascular diseases and we’re one of the few places in the region where patients can get access to clinical trials – treatments that aren’t yet available to everyone.
Our section leads the CREST-II trial at Ochsner, an important randomized multicenter trial designed to compare medical, surgical and interventional treatments of severe carotid stenosis in patients without symptoms.
Research publications from our vascular surgery faculty are listed here.
Education and Training
Vascular surgery training is a 2-year program at Ochsner Clinic Foundation. A prerequisite for entry into the program is the completion of 5 years of accredited training in General Surgery. The Vascular Surgery fellowship is designed to provide extensive exposure to vascular diseases and prepare the fellow for the examination for the American Board of Surgery Vascular Surgery Certificate.
For Referring Physicians
24-hour consultations are available for referring physicians. To refer a patient, call our Regional Referral Center at 1-855-OHS-LINK (647-5465).
- PAD Symptoms and Treatments: https://blog.ochsner.org/articles/peripheral-artery-disease-pad-symptoms-and-treatment-options
- What is a Vascular Surgeon?: https://blog.ochsner.org/articles/what-is-a-vascular-surgeon/
- Society for Vascular Surgery: https://vascular.org/patient-resources
- MyOchsner patient portal login
History of Surgery at Ochsner
The leading medical center in the Gulf South was named after Dr. Alton Ochsner, a pioneer in the field of thoracic surgery and one of the first to connect smoking to cancer. Dr. Ochsner retired from surgery at age 71, after performing more than 20,000 operations including seven on his last day. Today, the clinic he founded with four other surgeons is home to hundreds of surgeons from all over the world, many internationally renowned. Surgical milestones at Ochsner over the last 75+ years include:
- The first lung removal in the South
- The first surgical separation of Siamese twins in the nation
- The establishment of Ochsner’s cardiovascular diagnostic laboratories, which paved the way for future coronary vessel surgeries, open heart surgeries, the first heart-valve replacement, pacemaker implants, heart transplants, and lung transplants.
- The first successful adult kidney transplant in the Gulf South region.
- The first successful pediatric kidney transplant in the Gulf South region
- The first adult heart transplant in the Gulf South region.
- The first pediatric heart and liver transplants in the Gulf South
- The implantation of a heart pacemaker in the youngest patient ever
- The first double lung, kidney, liver and dual organ (kidney-pancreas) transplants in Louisiana
- More robotic gynecological surgeries than any other facility in the world at Ochsner Medical Center - Baton Rouge – one of only six global training sites for the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System
- The first Total Artificial Heart (TAH) implant in the Gulf South Region
- Operation on a 23-week-old fetus while still in his mother's uterus, a procedure that fewer than 10 hospitals in the United States are able to perform.