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A vascular surgeon specializes in the treatment of disorders of the vascular and lymphatic systems. The vascular system consists of all the body's arteries and veins, while the lymphatic system transports vital blood components from the veins and arteries to the cells. This type of surgeon performs nearly all venal or arterial surgery, with the exception of procedures done to vessels within the brain and heart.
Vascular surgery is also often used to treat abdominal aneurysms or help prevent strokes. A vascular surgeon may surgically treat blocked arteries in the neck or upper chest to help prevent a possible stroke. He or she may also surgically address vascular trauma or surgically redirect blood vessels in patients with poor circulation due to conditions such as diabetes and peripheral vascular disease.
Patients with problems of the lymphatic system, such as lymphedema, may also require the care of a vascular surgeon.