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Take an Inside Look at Vascular Health

February 13, 2020
Published in: Heart, Vascular

Abstract illustration of veins

Your body has an extensive superhighway of capillaries, veins, and arteries that make sure blood is delivered throughout your body. However, blockages can disrupt this essential process and cause dangerous health consequences. When capillaries, veins, or arteries in the legs, arms, neck, and kidneys are in danger, health professionals specializing in vascular care can help.

Common Vascular Diseases

Vascular diseases can be uncomfortable and even life-threatening, but treatment is available. Make sure to contact your doctor if you have unexplained symptoms. Common vascular diseases you should be aware of include:

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are often considered a vanity issue, but this condition can have severe health implications. Varicose veins occur when the valves in a vein don't close properly causing blood to pool. Varicose veins can look like thin red or purple veins under your skin or be thick and bulging. Varicose veins can cause painful burning, throbbing, cramping, and swelling. Serious complications like blood clots, ulcers, and bleeding due to a burst blood vessel can also occur.

Blood Clot in Veins (VTE)

Blood clots that form inside a vein in a muscle can cause deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in legs, thighs, or pelvis. Left untreated the clot could break away and travel to your lungs. Blood clots can be very dangerous. If you experience sudden swelling and/or pain, make sure to contact your doctor immediately.

Lymphedema

Your lymphatic system uses valves in your blood vessels and your muscle contractions to work. If your vessels are not in working order, it can cause swelling and heaviness in your extremities. Lymphedema can also cause swollen lymph nodes, and the swelling in the body can even be disfiguring if left untreated.

Resolving Vascular Issues

Here are some procedures that are performed to help with vascular issues:

Angiography

A procedure that uses dye to look inside arteries or veins. This may be done in various parts of the body such as the arms, abdomen, kidneys, and legs.

  • Balloon Angiography: The inflation of a small balloon in the vessel.
  • Renal Angiography: A test to evaluate the arteries of the kidneys.
  • Upper and Lower extremity angiography: Examines the arteries/veins in the extremities either arms or legs.
  • Venous Angiography: Examines the veins in the body.

Abdominal Aortogram

This procedure injects dye into the abdominal area to find areas where the blood vessels are closing or narrowing.

Arterial/Venous Fistulogram

An Arterial/Venous Fistulogram is an x-ray that helps to find narrowing or blockages in the veins. This procedure examines the vessels of patients who need or are having dialysis.

Endovascular Aortic Abdominal Aneurysm Repair

Repair of the Abdominal Aorta that has developed an aneurysm (bulging area).

Intravascular Stenting

Uses a metal stent (tube) to hold the vessel open

Intravascular Ultrasound

A imaging method that uses a miniaturized ultrasound probe attached to the end of a catheter.

Percutaneous Arthrectomy

The removal of calcium in vessels

TPA (Tissue Plasminogen activator thrombolysis)

Infusion of drug to break up clots.

Advances in technology and treatment options have broadened the scope of what's possible for vascular care patients. Vascular disease doesn't have to be a permanent roadblock for your health. Make sure to check with your doctor if you have any unusual symptoms. Contact Augusta Health Cardiology for more information.