Meet Dr. Melissa Kirkwood
Vascular Surgeon Specializing in Aortic Aneurysms

“Whether I repair an aneurysm, treat venous disease, prevent a stroke, or save a limb, I find caring for patients with vascular disorders extremely rewarding,” says UT Southwestern Medical Center vascular surgeon Melissa L. Kirkwood, M.D.

Dr. Kirkwood practices all aspects of vascular surgery, performing both traditional, open surgeries and less invasive endovascular procedures to manage conditions that originate in the blood vessels. These include aneurysms, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and peripheral artery disease (PAD).

“Because these patients often have very complex medical problems, they frequently require a higher level of care that I enjoy providing,” she says.

In addition to performing open and endovascular abdominal and thoracic aortic surgeries, Dr. Kirkwood performs conventional carotid endarterectomy and carotid stenting for the treatment of carotid artery disease.

For patients with PAD, she offers lower-extremity open bypass procedures as well as minimally invasive techniques such as balloon angioplasty, atherectomy, and stenting. Her expertise frequently helps patients, walk without pain, heal chronic wounds and save their limbs.

As the leader of UT Southwestern’s full-service vascular surgery vein clinic, Dr. Kirkwood evaluates and treats patients with a wide range of venous diseases, including varicose veins, spider veins, May-Thurner syndrome, DVT, and DVT-related post-thrombotic syndrome.

“Vascular surgeries are technically challenging, and I enjoy staying current with all the new innovations, devices, and minimally invasive procedures that are available so that I can bring the absolute best health care to my patients,” she says.

“I am very invested in the health of my patients and the relationships I develop with them. I share in their joy when I can help them get relief from their symptoms. UT Southwestern enables me to provide that relief by offering all aspects of state-of-the-art vascular care.”

In addition to her work with patients, Dr. Kirkwood’s researches radiation safety.

“All of the endovascular procedures we perform as vascular surgeons require radiation and I study ways to lower the radiation dose to patients and operators during complex endovascular procedures,” she says.

She recently presented her research regionally and nationally and has written book chapters and vascular surgery board questions on this topic.