Vascular surgeons have to be skilled in a range of procedures from life threatening bleeding in emergency trauma, to prophylactic treatment of aneurysms and artery stenosis. It is a speciality where you have the opportunity to practise some of the latest cutting edge technologies as well as the historic procedure, a limb amputation. You need to be someone who can be decisive under stress as well as being skilled at communicating and agreeing management plans with all types of patients.
 
PERSONALITY
 
  • Great communication skills

  • Can take decisions and cope under pressures

  • Excellent practical skills

  • Hard working

 
AVERAGE WEEK
 
On average a vascular consultant will have their week made up of a mixture of outpatient clinics, ward rounds and theatre lists, with on-call commitments which varies with each hospital but will often mean working an on-call week as the vascular 'duty' surgeon where you will start with a ward round of all new vascular admissions, and review any admissions during the day as well as performing the emergency vascular surgery for the week. This is usually around 1 week in every 6, but depends on the trust.
 
BEST BITS
 
  • Making noticeable differences to patient's quality of life with therapies and operations such as lower limb revascularisation surgery.

  • When you successfully perform lifesaving treatment such as repairing an abdominal aortic aneurysm and meet the patient later in clinic.

 

CHALLENGES
  • It can be frustrating when patients don't follow your advice to stop smoking, improve their diabetic control, or exercise more, and you follow them up in clinic with progression of the disease.

  • It can be difficult when you were performing prophylactic procedure such as carotid surgery and the patient gets a complication (such as a stroke) as a direct result to your surgery. 

WHAT THE FACT?
 
  • Aspirin is one of the most widely used medications in the world with an estimated 40,000 tonnes of it being consumed each year.

  • Patients with diabetes are 15 times more likely to have a lower limb amputation than a patient without diabetes.

 

OVERVIEW
 
Salary                         4
 
Competitive                5
 
Variety in Work           4
 
Work Life Balance      3
 
 
FURTHER INFO
 
The Vascular Society
NHS Medical Careers
Royal College of Surgeons

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