For Physicians

Information for physicians wishing to refer a patient to UNC Vascular Surgery

Welcome to the Division of Vascular Surgery at the University of North Carolina.  As colleagues in care, our interest is to support the optimal treatment for patients you refer to us in consultation, as well as those that become our mutual patients.  By combining our research efforts with medical, endovascular and surgical therapies, we provide the most advanced treatment options for patients with vascular disease.

We have expertise in all areas of vascular disease and perform a full range of services including peripheral vascular laboratory studies, wound care and limb salvage, open surgical procedures, endovascular interventions, and overall vascular care.  As vascular surgeons with advanced endovascular skills, we can evaluate each patient to determine whether medical, endovascular, or surgical treatments are most appropriate.  We have the ability to enroll patients into one of the many ongoing clinical trials we are participating in.

We are also dedicated to patient as well as physician education, hosting a weekly vascular conference and a yearly symposium in Pinehurst, NC.

Endovascular Institute

The UNC Endovascular Institute is dedicated to offering the most advanced minimally invasive treatments to patients with all varieties of vascular disease including thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms/dissections, peripheral arterial occlusive disease, mesenteric and renal artery disease, and cerebrovascular disease.

Stent-graft program for aortic disease

UNC has had crucial involvement in the initial and continual development of the use of stent-grafts in the abdominal  and thoracic aorta for the treatment of aneurysms, traumatic injuries and dissections.  We have the largest experience in the region with stent-graft repair of thoracic aortic lesions.  We are using all devices that are currently approved by the FDA as well as those available only through clinical trials.

Percutaneous endovascular therapies

More recently, UNC has emerged as a leader in percutaneous treatment of peripheral, renal and visceral vascular disease including the use of covered and uncovered stents, balloon angioplasty, plaque atherectomy, embolizations, vena caval filters, and thrombolysis (including veins, arteries and grafts).  A brand new state-of-the-art endovascular suite was opened in early 2007, with an additional suite that opened in Sept, 2008,  accommodating five staff vascular surgeons performing the full range of endovascular interventions.

Cerebrovascular disease

The Vascular Surgery division continues to be the primary discipline for the diagnosis and treatment of extracranial cerebrovascular disease.  To obtain an accurate diagnosis and anatomical detail we use non invasive imaging including duplex ultrasound, MR and CT angiography as well as traditional cerebral angiography when indicated.  While carotid endarterectomy as been the most commonly performed intervention, less invasive carotid stenting has recently become an option in selected patients. 

Not all patients are best treated with minimally invasive techniques; therefore we also routinely perform surgical procedures to treat such patients.

To refer patients to the Endovascular Institute please call the H&V Referral Center at 984-974-2900 Option 2.

UNC Wound Healing and Pediatry Center

UNC’s Wound Healing and Pediatry is a multidiscipline center established to bring several specialties together to provide coordinated, efficient, and effective care to patients with lower extremity wounds.  The center's staff includes vascular and endovascular surgery, orthopedic surgery, diabetic care, podiatry, physical and occupational therapy, and rehabilitation.

Some of the more common conditions treated include diabetic foot ulcers, venous stasis ulcers, ischemic ulcers and gangrene, and other persistent wounds that require special care.

The center is currently enrolling patients in a multitude of clinical trials involving emerging wound-healing technologies such as stem cells, growth factors and skin substitutes.

Patients are generally seen on a outpatient basis, and treatment plans often involve close coordination with home health agencies and patient families.  In those patients in whom an amputation becomes indicated, extensive rehabilitation services are incorporated to maximize patients’ mobility and recovery. 

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Currently, two monoplace chambers are available for hyperbaric oxygen therapy for such conditions as diabetic foot ulcers, and radiosteonecrosis.

New patient referrals can be made by contacting the UNC Heart and Vascular Referral Center at 984-974-2900 Option 2.

Vein Center

There have been many developments in minimally invasive techniques for the treatment of superficial and perforator venous disease.  These techniques are increasingly applied on an outpatient basis for both symptomatic and cosmetic venous disorders.  Our comprehensive Vein Center offers full diagnostic as well as treatment options for venous insufficiency, varicose veins and spider veins, including peripheral vascular laboratory evaluation,  endovenous laser ablation, phlebectomy, and sclerotherapy.  We also employ an aggressive strategy for the potential use of thrombolysis in the management of acute, symptomatic, proximal deep venous thrombosis.  In patients with chronic venous outflow obstruction, treatment options include percutaneous venous angioplasty and stenting as well as a surgical venous bypass.

To refer a patient to the Vein Center, please call the H&V Referral Center at 984-974-2900 Option 2.

Dialysis Access

Treatments are based upon DOQI (Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative) guidelines and the use of native vessel fistulae when possible.  Patients are routinely evaluated preoperatively with duplex ultrasound and with venography/arteriography as indicated.  We also offer laparoscopic as well as surgical placement of peritoneal dialysis (PD) catheters when indicated.  Clotted grafts are treated using both endovascular and surgical procedures.

To refer a patient, please call the H&V Referral Center at 984-974-2900 Option 2.