That’s nearly four times the distance around the equator, more than 211 million steps, and the combined length of all the blood vessels in an average adult human body. Along those 100,000 miles of minuscule arteries, veins and capillaries, a vast array of conditions may occur that require the expertise of a vascular surgeon.
The board-certified vascular surgeons at North Atlanta Vascular Center are highly trained and experienced in treating all of these conditions-- from simply eliminating unsightly varicose veins to emergency surgical intervention for a potentially fatal aortic aneurism. Since most blood vessels are significantly smaller than a human hair and require extreme attention to detail and precision to evaluate and treat, expertise matters. For nearly 15 years, the physicians and staff at North Atlanta Vascular Center have been providing area communities with the knowledge, expertise and resources needed to care for patients requiring specialized vascular care.
“We are double-board-certified in general surgery and vascular surgery and can evaluate and treat the full spectrum of vascular disease,” explains Thomas Matthews, M.D. “We practice in four area hospitals and clinics in North Fulton, Gwinnett and Forsyth to meet the needs of vascular patients across the North Atlanta metropolitan area. Ours is a tech-heavy industry that is rapidly evolving. Many of the open-surgery procedures have been replaced with new minimally invasive options that utilize state-of-the-art technology.”
The on-site Vascular Clinic offers advanced imaging and testing equipment, allowing the physicians to diagnose problems and initiate treatment without unnecessary wait times. This is a safe, convenient and more cost efficient option than a traditional hospital setting.
Quality of care and convenience are important factors to consider when choosing a physician, but as Matthews notes, comfort and compatibility with your doctor are especially important in this field.
“This field is unique in that we get to see our patients longterm and have an ongoing relationship. The standard of care for about 80 percent of our vascular patients is that we follow them forever.”
That’s the number-one reason Matthews chose to be a vascular surgeon.
“I enjoy getting to know my patients and caring for them long term,” he says.
If you’d rather not get to know a vascular surgeon professionally, there are some things you can do to prevent vascular disease: manage your weight, eat a heart-healthy diet, exercise routinely, and don’t smoke. However, you can do all of these things and and still end up with vein disorders if you stand on your feet excessively and forgo compression hosiery. Matthews explains that compression hosiery supports veins and prevents them from getting stretched out. “Once they are stretched out, they can become leaky and cause problems. So if you are on your feet a lot, you should wear compression hosiery or socks—even when it’s hot and humid.” This is especially true for pregnant women. “During pregnancy, a woman’s blood volume increases from 5 to 8 liters.
This can put a lot of strain on blood vessels and lead to ongoing problems,” he adds. Additionally, as the baby grows, the uterus presses on and partially blocks the veins that are returning blood from your legs to the heart. And pregnancy hormones make the walls of the mother’s veins softer, which makes it difficult for them to function optimally.
Maintain Your Veins
1. Keep the weight off.
2. Exercise regularly.
3. Eat a heart-healthy diet.
4. Wear compression hosiery if you stand for long periods.