Consultant Vascular & Endovascular Surgeon, Professor Syed Waquar Yusuf, who has dedicated his career to improving endovascular surgery and educating others in this specialty, is the recipient of the lifetime achievement award from the Vascular Society for Great Britain and Ireland.
As a vascular surgeon – specialising in the vascular system where the blood vessels carry blood to and from the heart – Prof Yusuf who joined UHSussex over 20 years ago, has spent his career committed to advancing endovascular surgery and helping patients.
Prof Yusuf said: “This award is a recognition of many people who supported me in my work over the past three decades, including patients who participated in trials and enabled innovations that have improved the outcomes for people with aortic disease.”
Before becoming a consultant, he played a pioneering role in the surgical treatment for abdominal aortic aneurysms, this is when there is swelling in the artery that carries blood from the heart to the abdomen.
Prof Yusuf was pivotal in developing not only this procedure but also training centres across the country to be able to perform it.
In 1994, he performed the world’s first specialist procedure to repair a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. This involves inserting a graft – a tube made of fabric with a metal mesh frame – within the aneurysm – the abnormal swelling or bulge in the wall of a blood vessel. This is done through the groin using X-rays to guide the graft into place to stop the aneurysm from bursting.
A highlight of his career, this game-changing technique demonstrated how beneficial this would be to more patients and was rolled out internationally, allowing surgeons to repair aneurysms without the need for invasive surgery.
In recent years, Prof Yusuf has helped develop the successful Sussex Vascular Network, hosted at UHSussex, which provides care pathways for patients across Sussex.
The network provides vascular consultants and clinical staff to undertake inpatient and outpatient clinics at key hospital sites, allowing patients within the catchment areas to receive treatment closer to home.
Alongside his surgical position, for that last decade Prof Yusuf has been actively involved in the undergraduate surgical module at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS). Here, as well as developing the knowledge and ability of the next generation of clinicians, he has also campaigned to keep surgery in the undergraduate curriculum.
Dr Ryan Watkins, Chief of Service, Specialist Division, said: “I am delighted to offer my congratulations to Waquar on his recognition by the Vascular Society in the form of their lifetime achievement award.
“The Trust, is indeed, so fortunate to have the benefit of Waquar’s contribution to vascular surgery since 2002. Most notably, his international contribution to the development of endovascular surgery which has changed the face of vascular surgery during the length of his career. But also, to his more local contribution to the development of our Vascular Network, as well as that of BSMS where he has led the undergraduate curriculum in surgery.
“We too are grateful for his outstanding contribution and thank him for it.”