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 SVS Fact Sheet

Why is vascular health newsworthy?

  • There is an expected increase in the incidence of vascular disease which primarily affects seniors. As the United States population of Baby Boomers continues to age, the potential for vascular disease increases. In 2009, the United States Census reported there were more than 72 million people aged 55 and older. This number is expected to increase. With the increase in potential vascular disease cases, knowledge of all treatments will become even more critical to the public. 
  • Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) affects between eight and 12 million people in the United States especially those over 50 and African Americans according to the United States National Institutes of Health. In advanced cases, when the diagnosis is made late, amputation may be necessary particularly among diabetics.
  • 14,000 Americans die each year from a ruptured AAA according to the United States National Institutes of Health, 2010.
  • Vascular disease can block the carotid arteries to the brain and cause paralyzing strokes. Stroke remains the third leading cause of death in the United States with nearly 137,000 people dying annually according to 2010 American Stroke Association statistics. A large proportion of strokes are caused by plaque in the carotid arteries. In 2010, it was estimated that Americans would pay about US$73.7 billion for stroke-related medical costs and disability.

Who is a vascular surgeon?

Vascular surgeons treat all the veins and arteries in the vascular system except the cranium and heart. Today’s vascular surgeons are the only medical discipline trained to care for patients using every vascular treatment available including noninvasive diagnostic tests, medical treatments, minimally invasive procedures, and open surgeries when necessary. This expertise uniquely qualifies vascular surgeons to determine the most accurate diagnosis and prescribe the best treatment. In some other medical disciplines, surgeons perform less invasive treatments but cannot perform surgery. In other medical disciplines, surgeons are skilled with one particular organ but they are not specialists in the entire vascular system.

In addition to this clinical expertise, Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) members advocate for vascular health in other areas.

  • Many are leaders who have developed unprecedented advancements through research
  • Others head vascular departments at medical colleges
  • Some work with legislators to make vascular healthcare available to all. An example of a legislative success is the passage of the Screening Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms Very Efficiently Act providing a free AAA screening for qualifying Medicare beneficiaries

What is SVS?

The Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) is a not-for-profit professional medical society. Composed primarily of vascular surgeons, SVS seeks to advance excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research, and public awareness. SVS is the national advocate for 3,350 specialty-trained vascular surgeons and other medical professionals who are dedicated to the prevention and cure of vascular disease.

  • Press releases are distributed via email and news wires reporting the most recent research, breaking political news, and general vascular health information
  • VascularWeb offers comprehensive media news and information on vascular disease including disease descriptions and treatments in the patient section. The Web site provides informational podcasts featuring vascular surgeons explaining important vascular health topics
  • SVS members meet annually at the Vascular Annual Meeting where groundbreaking research and studies are presented and debated. The media is invited to attend.

For expert comments and interviews with vascular surgeons, telephone 312-334-2317 or email

Contact Us

Society for Vascular Surgery
633 North Saint Clair Street, 22nd Floor | Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312-334-2300 | 800-258-7188
Fax: 312-334-2320

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VascularWeb® is the prime source for all vascular health and disease information, and is presented by the Society for Vascular Surgery®. Its members are vascular surgeons, specialists, and vascular health professionals who are specialty-trained in all treatments for vascular disease including medical management, non-invasive procedures, and surgery.