Meet Our Board-Certified Vascular Surgeon: Dr. Umashankar Ballehaninna

Meet Our Board-Certified Vascular Surgeon: Dr. Umashankar Ballehaninna

In April 2024, APEX Vascular added a new board-certified vascular surgeon to our team—Dr. Umashankar Ballehaninna, lovingly known to all of his patients as “Dr. B”. He has already made a positive impact on our practice and the East Tennessee community, bringing extensive experience and a passion for helping patients throughout their entire healthcare journeys.

To help our patients get to know Dr. B a little better, we sat down and asked him a few questions about his background, unique approach to vascular surgery, and personal interests.

What Inspired Your Career In Vascular Surgery?

When we asked Dr. B why he pursued a career in vascular surgery, he responded that he first found vascular surgery captivating due to its “fine combination of ever-evolving science and technology, finesse, and intricate surgery.” The challenge and satisfaction of procedures that have a profound impact on his patients’ quality of life drive him every single day.

“Oftentimes procedures a vascular surgeon performs saves lives or limbs, prevents stroke, helps wounds heal faster, and improves aesthetics so patients can feel better about themselves. Doing this fulfilling job every day is very gratifying.”

Umashankar Ballehaninna, MD, FSVS, RPVI

Dr. B also shared that he believes “few fields in medicine have advanced so much as vascular surgery.” He stays on top of the latest technology, tools, imaging, and equipment available to truly become a master in his craft. He loves the fact that practicing vascular surgery is a life-long learning opportunity.

How Do You Integrate The Latest Techniques and Technologies Into Your Practice?

Dr. Umashankar Ballehaninna - APEX Vascular

To integrate the latest techniques and technologies into his practice at APEX Vascular, Dr. B said he believes that investing in state-of-the-art equipment further supports precise interventions and ensures patients benefit from the latest advancements in vascular care. Through these efforts, Dr. B strives to provide his patients with the most effective and innovative treatments available in the field of vascular surgery.

Dr. B also shared his belief in professional development and lifelong learning:

“I prioritize ongoing professional development by attending conferences, workshops, and acquiring advanced certifications that keep me abreast of cutting-edge innovations in vascular surgery. This continuous education allows me to evaluate and adopt new techniques, such as minimally invasive procedures and advanced imaging technologies, which enhance diagnostic accuracy and improve patient outcomes.”

Umashankar Ballehaninna, MD, FSVS, RPVI

Dr. B shared his recent professional development courses, including the Society of Vascular Surgery Leadership Development Program and Complex Peripheral Vascular Intervention Skills. He also partners with experts across various specialties and regularly participates in clinical research and trials to gain firsthand knowledge of emerging treatments and technologies.

Why Practice at APEX Vascular?

Dr. B answered that APEX Vascular offers him the best of both worlds: outpatient and inpatient vascular surgery. His background in hospitals equipped him well on the inpatient side of things, but Dr. B wanted to support patients and their families with the option of convenient and cost-effective outpatient vascular care.

Dr. B was also excited to build and tailor his own private practice alongside Dr. Christopher Pollock, exploring the business aspect of medicine which he believes is very important for clinicians to understand.

“Our team is dedicated to continually improving and adapting to meet the evolving needs of our patients, ensuring they receive the highest quality vascular care with empathy and respect.”

Umashankar Ballehaninna, MD, FSVS, RPVI

What Are Your Future Goals and Vision for APEX Vascular?

When asked about his future goals for APEX Vascular, Dr. B discussed expanding our capabilities in minimally invasive procedures and advancing our use of cutting-edge technologies like:

  • Laser atherectomy
  • Intravascular ultrasound-guided re-entry
  • Percutaneous trans-arterial bypass
  • And several others

Dr. B told us he hopes to increase access to quality vascular care for lesser-served communities across East Tennessee. He would love to open more offices and treatment centers in the Northern and Eastern parts of Knox County and beyond.

“Ultimately, I envision APEX Vascular as a leader in innovative vascular care in the Knoxville area, known for delivering exceptional patient-centered outcomes and pioneering advancements in the field.”

Umashankar Ballehaninna, MD, FSVS, RPVI

A Unique Approach to Vascular Surgery and Care

Dr. Umashankar Ballehaninna - APEX Vascular

Dr. B explained that four pillars are guiding his overall approach to patient care:

  • Empathy
  • Quality care
  • Reducing complications
  • Improving outcomes

“I emphasize personalized, patient-centered treatment combined with advanced, minimally invasive techniques. Collaborating with a multidisciplinary team ensures precise diagnostics, effective interventions, and holistic care.”

Umashankar Ballehaninna, MD, FSVS, RPVI

Dr. B believes patients deserve the best every time they see him, and their trust in him means they have his support throughout their health journeys. He always strives to deliver the best care possible, no matter what. Even when hours are long, things are difficult, or circumstances are not ideal, Dr. B said he treats his patients like family.

“I think about my patients as my own family and do my best to ensure they get optimal treatment.”

Umashankar Ballehaninna, MD, FSVS, RPVI

He also ensures patients are involved and informed in their care decisions by starting with clear and open communication. From breaking down complex medical terms to actively listening to his patients’ concerns, Dr. B involves them in every step of their care plan. He prioritizes clear communication, patient education, and empowering individuals so they can actively participate in their treatment decisions. 

“We discuss all possible treatment options, including benefits and risks, ensuring they have all the information needed to make informed choices. Providing written materials and access to online resources further supports their understanding and empowers them to take an active role in their care.”

Umashankar Ballehaninna, MD, FSVS, RPVI

What Experiences Have Shaped Your Practice and Patient Interactions?

When talking about personal experiences that have shaped his passion and approach to vascular surgery, Dr. B fondly recalled two patient stories.

One story centered around a 65-year-old man who had a severely painful blood clot in his foot the week that his daughter was getting married. Dr. B recalls him being able to “barely move his toes” due to the pain, and he was “distraught on the idea of missing out on his daughter’s wedding.”

After hearing this man’s story and predicament, Dr. B took him into the endovascular suite that same afternoon and was able to perform an emergency surgery. He used minimally invasive techniques to remove all the clots and restore blood flow. The surgery was a success! The man experienced significant pain relief almost immediately, and he was discharged the next day on blood thinners.

At his follow-up appointment, this patient shared how he was able to walk his daughter down the aisle without any pain! He even brought his newlywed daughter and her husband to the appointment as a gesture of thanks.

“This experience reinforced the profound impact that effective vascular care can have on a patient’s life and motivated me to always seek the best possible outcomes for my patients.”

Umashankar Ballehaninna, MD, FSVS, RPVI

Dr. B shared another inspiring story of a 20-year-old male student, who he had treated when he was an on-call surgeon at a busy tertiary care hospital and trauma center. This patient had fallen off of a truck when he was intoxicated, leading to severe swelling and pain in his arm. The next day, he wasn’t able to move his fingers, and imaging at the hospital showed that his axillary arm artery was clotted off with significant internal bleeding.

Dr. B took him to an operating room immediately, removed the clots, and performed a bypass to release tension in his forearm. In a few months, the patient had regained all of his arm strength and was able to move with a full range of motion. Not only did Dr. B help him achieve a full recovery, but he also changed his life.

The following year, this young man became valedictorian of his class, later graduating with honors from a prestigious university with an engineering degree. After his graduation, he thanked Dr. B for saving his arm, and let him know that he had learned a lesson from his mistakes and had not slipped up since then.

“It was a profound patient interaction and a learning experience which taught me to not to be judgemental, have forgiveness and faith—despite mistakes—and believe in comebacks.”

Umashankar Ballehaninna, MD, FSVS, RPVI

Life Outside of Vascular Care

In his free time, Dr. B enjoys spending time with his daughters, taking them to the playground, pool, or ice cream shop. He also believes in being in sync with nature, so he loves going hiking, biking, traveling, and taking his family to less-traveled destinations.

His family also recently welcomed a newborn! While he said that’s made it a little tougher for him to get his at-home workouts in, Dr. B is overjoyed that his family is growing.

Request An Appointment With Dr. B at APEX Vascular

In addition to his commitment to advanced techniques and technologies, Dr. B places a strong emphasis on compassionate, patient-centered care. If you or a loved one is in need of vascular surgery for peripheral artery disease, deep vein thrombosis, or another venous or arterial condition, request an appointment with Dr. B today!

Take the first step on your healing journey. Request a vascular appointment with Dr. B today!

Request an Appointment - APEX Vascular

APEX Vascular is a vascular surgery and vein center with locations in Knoxville, Lenoir City, Crossville, and Harrogate, TN. We are dedicated to delivering personalized, high-quality care that goes beyond medical treatment. Our exceptional vascular staff, boasting extensive experience in vascular surgery, works tirelessly to elevate the standards of patient care and contribute to your overall well-being. Visit us online or call us at 865-562-3232 to request an appointment today!


Locations Across TN

Our physicians are focused on providing you with the best outcome through the use of state-of-the-art equipment.

Lenoir City

460 Medical Park Dr, #104
Lenoir City, TN, 37772

Lenoir City

Outpatient Center

460 Medical Park Dr, #105
Lenoir City, TN, 37772

North Knoxville

7557 A Dannaher Dr, #210
Powell TN 37849

West Knoxville

10800 Parkside Dr, #331
Knoxville, TN, 37934


131 S Webb Ave, Crossville
TN 38555


200 Nettleton Rd, # 1, Harrogate

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