What You Should Know About Vascular Disease

The Society for Vascular Surgery revealed that as many as 30-40 million may be affected by some aspect of peripheral vascular disease in the years to come. With that in mind, it is necessary to promote awareness about such a widespread disease.

Vascular disease occurs when there is an improper flow of blood through vessels. This is usually caused by the narrowing of the vessels that transport blood to the legs, arms, stomach or kidneys. Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) refers to the improper function of blood vessels outside the brain and heart. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition in which fatty deposits build up in the lining of the artery walls, restricting blood circulation. A popular form of PAD is critical limb ischemia (CLI) in which there is an obstruction of the arteries, which seriously decreases blood flow to the extremities.

Diagnosis
If you feel you may be suffering from some form of vascular disease, you should visit a vascular specialist. During your visit, the specialist will be especially interested in your medical history, so it would be best to make a list of known health conditions experienced by your parents or grandparents. Of paricular interest will be whether or not you have diabetes or heart disease. Based on your specialist’s discretion, he/she may want to conduct an ultrasound, X-ray angiography or magnetic resonance imaging angiography (MRA- imaging of the blood vessels using special magnetic resonance sequences that enhance the signal your blood flow while suppressing it from other tissues).

Prevention/Treatment
The same measures used to prevent PAD are also some of the ways you can treat it. This includes adjusting ones lifestyle in the following ways:

Prevention and Treatment
� Stop smoking
(abstaining from smoking can reduce your chances of getting PAD by 2-25 times).
� Control your diabetes
� Control blood pressure
� Exercise regularly

Depending on the extent of the vascular disease, more severe procedures may be necessary.

Treatment
� Drugs
� Surgery/Endovascular procedures, which could include
Angioplasty – making an incision at the point of blockage and inserting a small catheter
Thrombolysis – removing or breaking up the clot.

The Society for Vascular Surgery revealed that as many as 30-40 million may be affected by some aspect of peripheral vascular disease in the years to come. With that in mind, it is necessary to promote awareness about such a widespread disease.

Vascular disease occurs when there is an improper flow of blood through vessels. This is usually caused by the narrowing of the vessels that transport blood to the legs, arms, stomach or kidneys. Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) refers to the improper function of blood vessels outside the brain and heart. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition in which fatty deposits build up in the lining of the artery walls, restricting blood circulation. A popular form of PAD is critical limb ischemia (CLI) in which there is an obstruction of the arteries, which seriously decreases blood flow to the extremities.

Diagnosis
If you feel you may be suffering from some form of vascular disease, you should visit a vascular specialist. During your visit, the specialist will be especially interested in your medical history, so it would be best to make a list of known health conditions experienced by your parents or grandparents. Of paricular interest will be whether or not you have diabetes or heart disease. Based on your specialist’s discretion, he/she may want to conduct an ultrasound, X-ray angiography or magnetic resonance imaging angiography (MRA- imaging of the blood vessels using special magnetic resonance sequences that enhance the signal your blood flow while suppressing it from other tissues).

Prevention/Treatment
The same measures used to prevent PAD are also some of the ways you can treat it. This includes adjusting ones lifestyle in the following ways:

Prevention and Treatment
� Stop smoking
(abstaining from smoking can reduce your chances of getting PAD by 2-25 times).
� Control your diabetes
� Control blood pressure
� Exercise regularly

Depending on the extent of the vascular disease, more severe procedures may be necessary.

Treatment
� Drugs
� Surgery/Endovascular procedures, which could include
Angioplasty – making an incision at the point of blockage and inserting a small catheter
Thrombolysis – removing or breaking up the clot.

More Information
For more information on vascular disease, please visit the following websites:

www.vdf.org
www.vascularmanagement.com
www.vascularweb.com

References
1. www.vdf.org
2. Stedman’s Medical Dictionary 27th Edition. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2000.

References
1. www.vdf.org
2. Stedman’s Medical Dictionary 27th Edition. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2000.

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