In the late 1970’s, less than half a dozen surgeons sub-specializing in vascular surgery practiced in San Antonio, Texas. These specialists in vascular surgery, for the most part, came to San Antonio to practice in our military teaching hospitals and the University of Texas Medical Center. Some of these specialists began to establish practices in the private sector but their links between the military and the university remained strong. Initially, a Journal Club was formed and served as a forum for exchange of information relevant to the rapidly expanding field of vascular surgery. The purpose of this journal club was also to provide an informal setting for the discussion of problems related to new technology and procedures, credentialing issues and training in vascular surgery for residents in general surgery.
In the early 1980’s, several of the senior vascular surgeons felt it appropriate to formalize the journal club into a surgical society. Considerable research was initiated and communication established with members of the New England, Chesapeake Bay and San Francisco Bay Area Vascular Societies and the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery for purposes of developing a charter and bylaws. In 1984, the San Antonio Vascular Surgical Society was formed. R. Clement Darling, MD was the first visiting professor for the spring scientific meeting which featured presentations on various topics in vascular surgery by Society members. Thomas J. Fogarty, MD was the invited speaker for the Fall dinner meeting. Dr Fogarty acquainted us with “endovascular surgery” and specifically, the use of the Fogarty-Chinn extrusion balloon dilation catheter. In 1985, the Society was incorporated as a non-profit society “organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes”.
In ensuing years, pioneers in vascular surgery such as Drs. D.E. Strandness, Norman Rich, G. Patrick Clagget, John Porter, Warren Grundfest, J. Leonel Villavicencio, John Bergan and E. Stanley Crawford honored the Society as visiting professors. This served to attract the interest of fellow vascular specialists from across our State and led to the Society’s recognition as a regional vascular society by the Society for Vascular Surgery. The society has held biannual meetings since 1984 in and around San Antonio to promote the field of vascular and endovascular surgery. Members and invited guests have presented original research and interesting cases to their colleagues in a collegial forum. An annual resident research competition and prize has accompanied the fall meeting.
In 2009, the members of the society voted to change the name of the society to reflect the state wide practice of its members and to encourage further participation from the large number of vascular specialists practicing in Texas.
Since its inception, the Society has enjoyed an exceptional relationship with our colleagues in both the medical device and pharmaceutical industries. Their support has permitted us to expand the quality and scope of our scientific programs to the point where they meet standards usually attributed to societies with national membership.
The Texas Society for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery has remained a comfortable forum which encourages the exchange of information and ideas among its members and guests for the purpose of improving the quality of vascular surgery care in our respective communities. It also serves to acquaint members with the newest technologies and therapies which have been approved for use by our specialty.