Bauer Sumpio, MD, PhD, is a vascular surgeon who specializes in the care of patients with diseases of their arteries and veins. He engages in the limb salvage of people with diabetes who are at risk for losing their legs to their diabetic complications. He has decades of experience improving quality of life for patients with plaque build-up in major blood vessels which hinder flow to the critical organs, such as the kidneys, intestine (mesenteric ischemia), legs (claudication and critical limb ischemia) and brain (carotid artery disease).
According to Dr. Sumpio, vascular surgery has become a much less invasive procedure in recent years. He gives credit to the development of endovascular therapeutic techniques, which allow doctors to treat problems from inside the affected blood vessel. Surgeons are able to operate through small punctures of an artery, using tiny, flexible tubes, called catheters, to access the blood vessels. “This means we can fix things from the inside without having to open up the abdomen, chest or neck,” Dr. Sumpio says. These techniques are useful not only in opening up blockages in the artery with a balloon or stent but also for repair of abnormal weakening of the walls of the artery (aneurysm). “Most important for the patient is to have a surgeon who is not only skilled in these endovascular interventions but is capable of performing open surgical procedures when it is appropriate and indicated.”
Other conditions that Dr. Sumpio is skilled in treating include varicose veins using minimal invasive procedures such as laser or radio-frequency to remove dysfunctional veins or varicose veins.
Over his many years of caring for patients, Dr. Sumpio says he has come to understand that “the most important quality a physician can have is compassion. Once a patient trusts you, they understand you will make the best decision in their interest.”
As a professor of vascular surgery at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Sumpio has also performed basic research on blood flow and how it can affect the vascular wall.