Vascular disease is any condition that affects the veins and vessels of your circulatory system is considered a vascular disease and requires treatment. More common issues include your tissues not getting enough blood, or your bloodstream not bathing your tissues with enough white blood cells.
Peripheral Arterial Disease
When deposits of fat, cholesterol or other substances narrow or block arteries that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body, it’s called Peripheral Arterial Disease, or PAD. Those blockages can build up over time and make the condition worse.
Health problems and habits linked to PAD include smoking, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or cholesterol and being over the age of 60. Symptoms of PAD include pain or tiredness in your extremities, color change in your skin, sores or ulcers, and potentially heart attack or stroke.
If lifestyle changes or medications don’t bring relief, a doctor will usually recommend one of several procedures. Angioplasty uses a tiny balloon to open a blocked artery. Stenting involves inserting a wire mesh tube into an artery to hold it open. Bypass surgery may be the only option for more severe blockages. This treatment uses a bypass graft to reroute blood around a blocked section.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
The aorta is the main artery of the body, supplying blood from the heart to the rest of the vascular system. An abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs when an area that feeds blood to the abdomen, pelvis and legs balloons out beyond the normal confines of the arterial wall.
While the exact cause of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm is unknown, factors known to exacerbate the problem include smoking, high blood pressure and some genetic factors. Symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm include back or abdominal pain, dizziness, clamminess, nausea, vomiting, elevated heart rate and shock.
Bleeding inside your body is considered an emergency and requires surgery right away, but an unruptured aneurysm bigger than two inches or growing is also often treated with a surgical procedure.
Carotid Artery Disease
The two primary vessels that carry blood to your brain are called the carotid arteries. A condition called stenosis occurs when one or both become narrowed by the buildup of a waxy substance called plaque.
Lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet or weight, older age, smoking, diabetes and family history can all be considered risk factors for Carotid Artery Disease. Stenosis can reduce the blood supply to the brain and lead to a stroke. Symptoms of a stroke are varied and sudden. This includes numbness, dizziness, confusion, severe headache and trouble speaking or walking.
Imaging tests, such as an ultrasound, can determine if you have carotid artery stenosis. Doctors typically recommend one of two treatments, a carotid endarterectomy or carotid artery stenting. Endarterectomy surgery clears blockage from the artery, while the stenting procedure widens the artery to hold it open.