Vascular and Endovascular Surgery

Circulation of blood through the body is essential to life. The blood vessels that distribute blood throughout the body are a branching set of tubes (arteries and veins) called the vascular system. Arteries deliver fresh, red, oxygenated blood to all organs and tissues. Veins return the used "blue" blood to the heart and lungs to absorb more oxygen and begin the process anew. Vascular diseases cause damage to the arteries and veins, impairing their ability to circulate the blood. The resulting lack of oxygen (ischemia) (iss-kee'-me-a) causes damage to the organs and tissues supplied by the diseased vessels. Cardiovascular disease is that which affects the vessels of the heart, and Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) is that affecting blood vessels elsewhere in the body. PVD can affect any vessel, but most commonly involves the aorta (the body's main artery), the arteries to the brain (carotid), the arteries to the kidneys (renal), and the blood vessels in the legs. The best-known vascular disease is atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, a very common condition in the Western world, and one responsible for a great deal of death and disability.

Vascular and endovascular surgery is the specialty that uses a combination of medical, traditional surgical, and endovascular (minimally invasive) procedures to treat diseases of the arteries and veins. Along with the other Endovascular Specialists of the Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, the Vascular Surgery service performs both endovascular and open surgical procedures. Here is a list of some of the procedures that they perform on a routine basis:

• Endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm (EVAR)
• Endovascular repair of thoracic aortic aneurysm (TEVAR)
• Hybrid repair of abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysm
• Open repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA)
• Carotid endarterectomy
• Carotid artery stenting
• Endovascular management of peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
• Lower extremity bypass surgery
• Mesenteric, renal artery stenting
• Mesenteric artery bypass
• Renal artery bypass
• Endovenous ablation for venous Insufficiency
• Subclavian artery bypass and reconstruction
• Dialysis access

Vascular and endovascular surgeons are specialists in the comprehensive diagnosis and care of patients with vascular disease, using a combination of medical, surgical, and less invasive endovascular therapies.


Physicians' Assistants

Clinical Program Coordinator

  • Amanda Bornais, BS, RVT, EMT-P

Vascular Technologists

  • Elizabeth Bhagat, BA, RVT
  • Heather Cramer, AS, RVT
  • Marissa Dunmire, AS
  • Keith Himes, RVT, RT(R)
  • Katelyn Kaschak, AS
  • Karen Lahr, AS, RVT
  • Michael Matchett, RDMS, RVT, ARRT(R)
  • Stacey McCarl, AS, RVT