Ellen D. Dillavou, MD, Vascular Surgeon

Author: Duke Health

Hi, my name is Doctor Ellen Dillavou. I'm a vascular surgeon and I'm part of the Department of Surgery at Duke University Medical Center. As part of the Division of Vascular Surgery at Duke, I treat the entire gamut of patients. However, my special interests are in doing dialysis access so people can get safe, easy, comfortable dialysis treatments and also in treating vein disorders. I feel like people, when they come to a doctor, are often a little bit frightened or nervous.

They aren't sure how serious their condition is and they are afraid if it might be serious. And so immediately, I talk to the patient, try to determine what the problem is and then try to let them know that in almost all cases when they come to see me, they are the ones in the driver seat. They are making their decisions. It's my job to help them figure out what the situation is, what I can do to help them, and what they can expect as we go through the treatment together. And I've found by doing that, it puts people at ease.

And it allows them to relax and listen, and then make the choices that are best for them. I guess the favorite part of my job is just getting to be part of people's lives. And especially in doing, both vein procedures and dialysis access, these are both chronic conditions, and so you see people, again, and again, and again. It's really an inspiration, to be able to be part of these people's lives. And to feel so close to them and be part of a team that keeps getting them through their lives.

Ellen D. Dillavou, MD, Vascular Surgeon

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