The Maryland Vascular Center at Baltimore Washington Medical Center is a multidisciplinary group of healthcare professionals who provide comprehensive specialty care services to patients with all forms of major vascular disorders including arterial, venous, lymphatic, inflammatory and congenital vascular problems. The Maryland Vascular Center is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System and works closely with the Division of Vascular Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and participates in clinical, research and educational opportunities. This relationship allows our team to customize care delivery to people from all parts of the state of Maryland and the surrounding region. Our services are conveniently provided in a modern and easily accessible community hospital environment at BWMC.
Our staff is a group of nationally and internationally recognized experts with a broad range of interest and experience in all forms of vascular problems, both surgical and non-surgical.
Our mission is to reduce death and disability due to vascular disease. To accomplish this, we address all four points of the “Vascular Care Compass.”
The diagnosis of vascular disorders may be as simple as a single non-invasive ultrasound test, but often precise diagnosis requires a combination of tests – especially when planning effective treatments. Diagnostic testing may include:
• Noninvasive testing in the vascular laboratory
• Computed tomographic scanning (CT scan)
• Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI/MRA)
• Serologic testing (Blood tests)
The treatment for some vascular problems may be as simple as medical treatment with blood thinners, exercise and diet modification or other risk factor reduction strategies. However, severe or more serious vascular problems may place patients at risk for stroke, limb loss, or even death. Once diagnosed, these problems require safe and effective treatment to avoid potentially catastrophic outcomes.
• AAA – Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms - Aortic aneurysms are the tenth leading cause of death in men over 50 in this country. An AAA can be detected with a simple ultrasound scan and most can be treated with minimally invasive techniques that require only a day or two stay in the hospital.
• Carotid Artery Disease - Stroke is the third leading cause of death in this country and the leading cause of disability in older Americans. Blockages in the carotid arteries can be detected through a simple ultrasound scan and, in many cases, can be treated by medications.. However, surgical treatment is usually the most effective for severe cases.
• PAD – Peripheral Arterial Disease – PAD may cause difficulty walking and can lead to foot ulcers or even amputation. A simple Doppler exam can determine when treatment is necessary. Medical treatments and lifestyle changes alone may prevent the most serious complications of PAD.
• Venous Disease – Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) can affect all ages and can be fatal when blood clots travel to the lungs. Early diagnosis with ultrasound allows treatment and prevention. Varicose veins, while not dangerous, can produce disabling leg swelling, pain and fatigue.
Today when intervention is required for these serious vascular problems, surgery can often be minimized or avoided entirely through the use of minimally invasive endovascular treatments. When this is not possible or appropriate, surgery may be necessary to achieve effective and durable treatment. Our staff of highly-experienced, board-certified vascular surgeons can select the most effective treatment and discuss that with the patient and their family.
The risk factors for most serious vascular disease are well known. They include:
• Hypertension (high blood pressure)
• High blood cholesterol
• Age over 55
• Family history
• More common in men than women
Many serious vascular problems can be prevented by the right combination of medical therapy and lifestyle changes – also known as “risk factor modification.” This includes diet, exercise, smoking cessation and keeping blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes under control.
Our physicians may find something on a routine exam and schedule a test in the non-invasive vascular laboratory, or they may simply feel that a routine test is beneficial because of certain risk factors. Our patients may also participate in one of our free comprehensive vascular screenings.
If a mild or moderate vascular problem is detected, we can prevent it from worsening through comprehensive vascular care and regular follow-up.
We have a highly experienced team of vascular healthcare professionals dedicated to teaching and they provide a wide variety of educational opportunities for those interested in vascular disorders. These include the following:
• Education of patients and their families
• Community education
• Education of medical professionals
• Training vascular surgeon specialists
Patient Education: Each patient and their families will be provided with detailed information about their condition. This includes an explanation of all tests performed as well as strategies for continued follow-up or necessary treatments. In many cases, patients receive formal educational brochures explaining their condition and its treatments. Our staff is available anytime to answer questions patients may have about their condition or treatments they may receive.
Community Education: Through programs like our vascular screening program, we pursue an active outreach to our local and regional community. At such programs all participants receive educational materials that provide detailed information about major vascular problems as well as their diagnosis and treatments. Whenever possible we partner with community-based groups to provide the continuing educational opportunities they desire.
Education of Medical Professionals: Our vascular surgery staff are nationally recognized experts in their field and are sought after educators. They participate regularly in local, regional and national conferences to provide the highest level of vascular education for other physicians interested in vascular disorders. Our nursing staff hold leadership positions in the major national organizations that design and provide continuing vascular education to nurses and other healthcare professionals.
Training Vascular Surgeon Specialists: Our physicians are highly respected faculty members at the University of Maryland where they have served as leaders in the Division of Vascular Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. They have developed a specialty vascular surgery training program allowing surgeons from all over the country to come to our Center to learn about vascular disease and its treatments.
For more information or to make an appointment with the Maryland Vascular Center at Baltimore Washington Medical Center, please call 410-553-8300.
Dr. Marshall Benjamin - Vascular Surgeon
Dr. David Neschis - Vascular Surgeon