New Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Department Created

September 23, 2008

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has created a new department, the Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, within the Division of Surgical Sciences. It is the first time in 29 years that a new surgical department has been formed at Wake Forest Baptist.

Kimberley J. Hansen, M.D., F.A.C.S., professor of surgery, is the interim chair of the department, which includes a new section on vascular medicine. “Vascular and endovascular surgery has been recognized as a primary specialty in light of the maturity of the field and its distinction from other surgical specialties,” Hansen said.

Clinical care, teaching and research are provided by the faculty, whose members have extensive experience in medical management of vascular diseases, as well as diagnostic testing, endovascular intervention and open vascular surgery. Faculty members do research in both basic science and clinical projects.

The department has a fully accredited vascular laboratory that performs more than 13,000 non-invasive procedures a year and a state-of-the-art endovascular suite, as well as a vascular biology laboratory that is collaborating with the Wake Forest University Institute of Medicine and the Wake Forest University Primate Center.

The new department includes Hansen, who is also director of the vascular surgery and vascular medicine training programs and the clinical vascular laboratory; Matthew S. Edwards, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of vascular surgery and public health sciences; Randolph L. Geary, M.D., F.A.C.S., a professor of vascular surgery, comparative medicine, and regenerative medicine, who is the director of the vascular biology research laboratory; Christopher J. Godshall, M.D., assistant professor of vascular surgery, who is also trained as a pharmacist and just recently joined Wake Forest Baptist; Pavel J. Levy, M.D., an associate professor of surgery and vascular medicine specialist; George W. Plonk Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S., the senior active member of the group and an associate professor of vascular surgery; and Richard H. Dean, M.D., F.A.C.S., president emeritus of Wake Forest University Health Sciences and professor emeritus of vascular surgery.

In the past, vascular surgeons’ training included completion of a vascular fellowship after a five-year general surgery residency, Hansen said. One of the changes that has come about because of primary specialty designation is that medical school graduates can now enter a five-year residency program in vascular surgery.

The new Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery includes fellowships in vascular surgery, as well as vascular medicine. Last year the department was one of seven programs in the country to receive funding for the Mentored Clinical Scientist Program in Vascular Medicine from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Vascular disease refers to disorders of the arteries, veins and lymphatics of the body, exclusive of the brain and the heart. It is estimated that 20 to 30 million Americans are at risk for vascular diseases, including stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysms, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, peripheral vascular diseases, diabetes and diseases of the veins. With the aging population and the increase in obesity and type II diabetes, vascular disease is expected to impact an additional two million Americans each year.

For more information on the Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, please call (336) 716-4151 or go to\vascular.


Media Contacts: Ann Hopkins,, (336) 716-1280, Bonnie Davis,, or Shannon Koontz,, (336) 716-4587.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Brenner Children’s Hospital, Wake Forest University Physicians, and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine and Piedmont Triad Research Park. The system comprises 1,154 acute care, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and has been ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report since 1993. Wake Forest Baptist is ranked 32nd in the nation by America’s Top Doctors for the number of its doctors considered best by their peers. The institution ranks in the top third in funding by the National Institutes of Health and fourth in the Southeast in revenues from its licensed intellectual property.

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