Vascular Specialist’s top stories of 2023


top 10Which stories captured the attention of the vascular community over the course of the past year? Read our summary of the trending articles from across Vascular Specialist in 2023. Let us know your highlights by leaving a reply at the foot of the page with your comments.

1. Coding: New CPT codes for percutaneous arteriovenous fistula creation

Back in February, Sunita Srivastava, MD, and David Han, MD, worked through the 2023 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set and the two new codes governing arteriovenous (AV) fistula creation in the upper extremity.

2. SVS responds to New York Times article on overuse of vascular interventions

In July, SVS President Jospeh Mills, MD, penned a response to the swirling coverage in the mainstream media of inappropriateness in vascular care.

3. Likes, dislikes and reposts: The new age of the vascular surgery influencer

Early in the year, Jean Bismuth, MD, and Jonathan Cardella, MD, tackled the thorny topic of vascular surgeons’ use of social media, starting their piece with the searing opener: “The brave new world of social media, with its TikToks and Kar­dashians, has now invaded our once-sane specialty.”

4. From the editor: Sex, lies, and carotid stents

In our October issue, Malachi Sheahan III, MD, Vascular Specialist medical editor, entered the debate around the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) decision to expand coverage for carotid artery stenting. He dealt, in part, with the issue of practitioner competence in the treatment of asymptomatic carotid disease, writing: “Vascular surgeons matriculate into the workforce with documented technical and educational experience in the treatment of carotid disease. For other specialties? Not so much.”

5. Surmodics provides regulatory update related to FDA premarket approval application for SurVeil

Surmodics announced in January how it had received a letter from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) related to its premarket approval (PMA) application for the SurVeil drug-coated balloon (DCB). In the letter, the FDA indicated that the application was not currently approvable, while providing specific guidance as to a path forward. The device received approval in July.

6. Robotic surgery: ‘We’ve missed the boat on this,’ says Houston vascular chief

In April, we interviewed Alan Lumsden, MD,  the Walter W. Fondren III Presidential Distinguished Chair at Houston Methodist’s DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston, Texas, on an emerging program at Houston Methodist that aimed to help prod those practicing in the vascular surgical space deeper into the field of robotic surgery.

7. Letter to the editor: The vascular influencer

W. Michael Park, MD, from University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, responded to the earlier editorial penned by Jean Bismuth, MD, and Jonathan Cardella, MD, focused on social media use by vascular surgeons. “The voices of non-academic surgeons are given a platform to broadly share their experience,” he retorted in his piece. “If legitimately good people are dissuaded from participating, only the cheap suits will remain.”

8. Vascular surgery added as named specialty to influential national hospital rankings 

In July, it emerged that U.S. News & World Report was about to rename the specialty formerly known as “Cardiology & Heart Surgery” to include vascular surgery in its national rankings of the best hospitals in the country.

9. Envision, private equity and patient care: Substituted values 2.0

Back at the start of the year, Arthur E. Palamara, MD, a vascular surgeon in Hollywood, Florida, crafted a commentary on the specter of private equity in healthcare.

10. CMS confirms broadened Medicare coverage of carotid artery stenting in final decision

In October, we reported on the final CMS decision to approve the coverage expansion for carotid stenting. National Coverage Determination (NCD) 20.7 essentially confirmed the expansion outlined in a July proposed decision memo.


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