Spotlight on Lee Yates, M.D.

Specialty: Vascular Surgery 

Savannah Surgery Center

5102 Paulsen St. Building 2
Savannah, GA 31405
(912) 354-8331


University of Georgia
Mercer University School of Medicine
University of Mississippi Medical Center
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

SJ/C: What is the one piece of advice that you wish your patients would follow and not ignore?

Dr. Yates: Although a difficult task, I wish that my patients would take my advice to stop smoking. It is never too late to make a difference. Previous damage cannot be undone, but future damage can be prevented. Every day without smoking is less damage caused to blood vessels.

SJ/C: Why did you choose this specialty?

Dr. Yates: I like working with blood vessels. I love the way they feel and sew. Vascular surgery is very rewarding. It is a great feeling when you can improve a patient’s quality of life.

SJ/C: What do you see on the horizon for this specialty?

Dr. Yates: I see vascular surgery continuing to move toward less invasive and increasingly technologically advanced procedures, many of which will be performed in outpatient settings. For patients this means less open surgery, shorter hospital stays, faster recovery and improved outcomes.

SJ/C: What are the top two key pieces of advice that you give your patients?

Dr. Yates: Number one is that prevention is the key. Taking care of oneself and leading a healthy lifestyle is the first line of defense and not to be underestimated. This includes maintaining a healthy diet and weight, exercising regularly, smoking cessation and monitoring and controlling current medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. 

Second is follow up. Vascular surgery patients have the best results when they are followed regularly and monitored for vascular changes. Catching a problem early can lead to less invasive procedures, fewer complication risks, and a better patient experience and outcome.

SJ/C: Do you have a story where you thought, “This is why I choose to practice medicine?"

Dr. Yates: I had an obese patient that wanted to lose weight and was very committed to doing so. Unfortunately he could not walk or exercise because it caused terrible pain and cramping in his legs. He couldn’t walk more than 30 yards without having to rest. After evaluating the patient, it was determined that he had very poor blood flow in his legs that was causing him this pain and discomfort. After two quick and minimally invasive procedures using balloons and stents, he could walk distances again. He went on to lose nearly 100 pounds because he could exercise again without pain. That is why I choose to practice medicine, helping patients that want to help themselves. 


  • St. Joseph's Hospital Campus: 11705 Mercy Blvd., Savannah, GA 31419, (p) 912-819-4100
  • Candler Hospital Campus: 5353 Reynolds St., Savannah, GA 31405, (p) 912-819-6000
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St.Joseph's Hospital Campus: 912-819-4100

Candler Hospital Campus: 912-819-6000