Cassius Iyad Ochoa Chaar, MD, MS, is a vascular surgeon who treats problems affecting the circulatory system, ranging from painful varicose veins to life-threatening aneurysms. He has special expertise in treating peripheral artery disease, which can block blood flow through the arteries in the arms and legs. Dr. Chaar is an expert in lower extremity limb preservation, particularly in diabetic patients.
“The most exciting breakthrough in vascular surgery has been the evolution of minimally invasive surgery, which has transformed the specialty completely,” Dr. Chaar says. Dr. Chaar says that he is now able to treat the vast majority of his patients with minimally invasive endovascular surgeries, which involve accessing a damaged artery by puncturing it and inserting a wire and a catheter. But he also still performs traditional open surgeries—with long incisions that allow him to view and treat problems directly. He sometimes uses a combination of approaches to treat complex cases.
An associate professor of vascular surgery at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Chaar says he was motivated to go into medicine when he was growing up and saw the positive impact a doctor had on his grandmother, who had complicated medical problems. “I wanted to be that person who touched peoples’ lives and made them better,” he says.
Dr. Chaar is the 2020 recipient of the Charles W. Bohmfalk Prize for teaching in the clinical sciences at the Yale School of Medicine.
Dr. Chaar speaks Arabic, English, French and Spanish.