BENGALURU: The Vascular Society of India held its 23rd annual conference in the city on Thursday and delegates highlighted how vascular surgery is still a neglected specialty. Vascular surgery deals with diseases related to arteries and veins.
India has a large number of diabetics with foot ulcers, varicose veins, aneurysms, and carotid arteries which can be salvaged by endovascular intervention.
Vascular surgeons at the conference said many patients are told amputation is the only option left when it can well be treated by vascular surgery. India has only 10 centres that offer vascular surgery programmes.
Dr Sanjay Desai, HOD, Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, MS Ramaiah Memorial Hospital, said, “In Karnataka, Ramaiah is the only that offers an M.Ch in vascular surgery. The specialty itself is relatively new. It started only in 2000. In the four-day conference, we have 120 general surgery trainees who will be allowed to practise vascular surgery techniques on cadavers and simulators. There will also be theoretical sessions. In all, over 350 delegates from India and abroad have registered for the conference.”
Dr VS Bedi, chairman and senior consultant, department of peripheral vascular and endovascular surgery, Sri Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, said, “We get patients who have had spine surgeries for vein blockage in their legs. Often, it’s too late by the time they come to us. Even AIIMS does not have a dedicated department for vascular surgery. When you have so many smokers and diabetics, it should be the priority of the government. But repeated pleas to the health ministry have fallen on deaf ears. They’d rather have limbs amputated than invest in this department.”