Advances in vascular end endovascular medicine are improving the lives of patients across the country.
Dr. PAVLOS G. VAKALOPOULOS MD, MSc
DIRECTOR OF VASCULAR CLINICNAVAL AND VETARANS HOSPITAL OF ATHENS
DIRECTOR OF VASCULAR CLINIC, BIOCLINIC ATHENS
MSc IN ENDOVASCULAR TECHNIQUES&MScVASCULAR COLOR DUPLEX ULTRASOUND
POSTGRADUATE WORK IN BELGIUM
Greece is an inherently health place, a country bathed in sunlight, washed by the sea and fed on a Mediterranean diet, but even here our modern lifestylemakes it difficult to maintain healthy habits such as daily walking and exercise, swimming and cooking healthy food at home. Instead, a sedentary lifestyle,little excersice, a fat-rich diet and a widespread habit of smoking, along with work-related stress, are combining to cause obesity, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes and arterial hypertension. The country that gave birth to Hippocrates, the father of Medicine, still has brilliant health scientists who are successfully in prevention and treating diseases. In the field of vascular conditions in particular, there has in recent years been a veritable revolution in approach.Greek vascular surgeons use the latest techniques and follow the most up-to-date international guidelines in dealing with aneurysms, carotid stenosis, peripheral artery stenosis, obstructed arteries, varicose veins, spider veins, fistula, vein thrombosis, and diabetic foot.
Vascular diseases may involve the venous, arterial or lymphatic system. Swollen and tired feet, pain in the lower limbs, varicose and spider veins, venous thrombosis are some common vein problems.A conservative treatment plan is the first step;it may involve weight loss, exercise, proper shoes, graded compression stockings and medications. Thromboses can be treated with drugs thatprevent the expansion or enhance dissolution of the thrombus. Today, even when a limb and potentially a patient’s life is in danger, another therapeutical choice is the use of special devices that enter the vein and aspirate the thrombus. Varicose veins are treated with minimal invasive methods such as Intravenous Laser Ablation (EVLT).This enables a quick return to work, and post-procedural pain and scars are no longer a problem. Spider veins can be removed with sclerotherapy, during whicha foam solution is injected into the vein, a particular suitable approach in the case of larger veins.
It’s important to note that the success of conservative treatment depends on both patient compliance and on the patient’s other health issues.Carotid stenosis, a critical condition that may affect a patient’squality of life due to the possibility of stroke, can be treated successfully by stenting, in caseswhere a classicopen surgery approach isconsidered very risky. When severe intermittent claudication appears due to lower limb arterial stenosis, a balloon or stent can be inserted.Special medication can be released throughthe balloon before stenting to achieve the best long-term result. In extreme limb salvage conditions,special devices are inserted temporarily in the artery, to remove atheromatous plaques.An experienced specialist in vascular surgery can treat aneurysms with stent-graft placement. This can be done without general anesthesia or any large incisions; it’s painless, doesn’t require many days of hospitalization and comes with lower rate of perioperative difficulties.
We can say with certainty that Greece today is at the forefront of medical science. Its vascular surgeons can cope with any disease or condition safely and with high success rates. Qualifiedexperienced doctors put their consistently up-to-date knowledge into practice at modern, well-equipped hospitals where the availability of cutting-edge technology is standard. These same physicians apply their desire to heal the sick as well; Greece has always been a hospitable country, and its doctors are naturally willing and eager to serve any person in need.