New vascular care center opens in Darien, providing more outpatient opportunities

DARIEN — A new partnership for a local surgeon aims to expand the possibilities for inpatient care in vascular surgery.

Vascular Care Connecticut officially opened this month at 330 Post Road.

Longtime Darien resident and practitioner Dr. Paul Gagne, in partnership with Dr. Benjamin Chandler, is offering his community a service-centered outpatient facility that aims to make vascular procedures easier and more affordable in an in-office setting.

Innovations in the field of vascular surgery, Gagne explained, are becoming increasingly less invasive, therefore requiring less time and extended care.

“You don’t need to do them (all) in a hospital,” he said, adding around 80 percent are appropriate to be done in an outpatient setting.

He said that according to a study in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, between 2011 and 2017 office-based procedures in the vascular area increased by more than 300 percent.

“We know that COVID-19 has only exacerbated these trends because patients would rather not get the same care in a hospital which they can receive in a physician’s office,” he said.

Gagne’s background includes both work in a hospital setting, working through New York University, and in his own private practice group in Darien, where he is a well-known name in the community.

While he said that centers such as his will work in cooperation with hospitals when it becomes necessary to perform more invasive surgery, many examinations, diagnostic ultrasounds and various procedures are made simpler through an outpatient facility such as Vascular Care Connecticut.

“Outpatient vascular centers put the patient at the center of the care in a safe, convenient setting with state-of-the-art technologies,” Gagne said.

Having previously been practicing up in Danbury, Chandler — whose wife, Dr. Laurel Chandler, is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Darien — is joining him in this endeavor.

“Patients are not the only beneficiaries of the outpatient vascular care platform,” Chandler said. “As a vascular surgeon a majority of the procedures I performed in the hospital could be safely performed in the office.”

These, he said, require an expert staff, which the VCC is proud to be offering, along with the specialized equipment he said sometimes isn’t even available in certain hospitals that struggle with limited resources, but that he and Gagne have to offer.

“Ultimately my goal in joining Vascular Care Connecticut is to help shape the future of vascular surgery through our participation in clinical trials and utilization of state-of-the-art equipment,” Chandler said, “and to create a new standard of care for our vascular patients.”

Gagne noted that he and Chandler are active in research and publishing within their specialty — as well as lecturing — and have unique opportunities to use equipment and techniques that aren’t even available at bigger medical centers.

“And these are all under the supervision of the FDA,” he added.

Gagne noted that his special area of work centers in blood clots and deep vein treatment, while Chandler’s expertise focuses on blocked arteries.

“So we complement each other nicely,” he said.

More importantly, Gagne notes that having everything under one roof, so to speak, with VCC, brings patients not only a better, more personal experience — including ease of appointments and safer, more convenient visits — but generally costs can be much lower for them as well.

“I know that’s a well-worn statement, (but) it’s actually the heart of our mission and that’s what our staff is here for — putting the patient first, making them feel comfortable in the setting, so they want and get the care they need,” he said.