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About Us: Overview

The Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery is dedicated to excellence in the promotion of vascular health for Canadians through education, research, collaboration and advocacy.

Our Mission is to lead vascular care in Canada

The Society provides a forum for continuing medical education for vascular surgeons and others interested in the investigation and treatment of patients with vascular disease. It also provides an opportunity for the exchange of ideas, promotion of education and research and discussion of matters of interest to its members and others.

What is vascular surgery?

Vascular surgery is a surgical specialty that is dedicated to the treatment of conditions affecting blood vessels including arteries, veins and the lymphatic system. Some of the common vascular conditions treated include aortic aneurysms, stroke and mini strokes from carotid artery narrowing, poor leg circulation and varicose veins. (see a list below) The vascular surgeon is well trained to offer complete therapy such as patient counseling, medical treatment, minimal invasive balloon angioplasty, stenting of arteries and veins as well as reconstructive vascular surgery.

Who should be referred to a vascular surgeon?

The following is a list of common conditions that should be referred to a vascular surgeon. The list is categorized into emergencies which demands immediate referral; urgent conditions that should be referred within days and non-urgent patient who can afford to wait.


  • Stroke or mini-strokes (TIA’s) with carotid artery narrowing
  • Ruptured or painful aortic aneurysm
  • aortic or other major arterial dissection
  • Sudden loss of bowel circulation (mesenteric ischemia)
  • Sudden onset of cold, pale, painful, numb or weak limb
  • Large blood vessel injuries from accidents
  • Sudden upper or lower limb swelling due to deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Diabetic foot infection

Urgent conditions:

  • Aortic and other arterial aneurysm in the chest, abdomen or pelvis
  • Chronic poor circulation to the bowel with weight loss and food avoidance behavior
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure or kidney failure with evidence of kidney artery narrowing
  • Aneurysm in the upper or lower limb
  • Painful upper or lower limb due to lack of circulation
  • Non-healing wound or gangrene in upper or lower limb
  • Diabetic foot ulcers
  • Venous ulcers
  • Varicose veins that bleed or are associated with skin ulcers or discoloration

Non-urgent conditions:

  • Asymptomatic carotid artery narrowing
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome causing upper limb pain and/or poor circulation
  • Leg pain with walking due to poor circulation
  • Varicose veins causing discomfort
  • Chronic leg swelling due to venous or lymphatic problem
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