What is vascular disease?

Vascular disease can be a common or a severe condition that affects the vascular system, including the arteries, capillaries and veins. Vascular disease can be caused by genetics, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, infection, injury or medicines, depending on the specific disease. But its cause can also be unknown.

When left untreated, vascular disease may lead to tissue death, pale skin, impotence, severe pain that affects mobility, wounds that don’t heal, life-threatening infections and even death.

Types of Vascular Diseases

Vascular disease comes in different forms. These include:

  • Aneurysm (swelling in the wall of an artery)
  • Atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in the arteries)
  • Blood clots in the veins
  • Coronary artery disease (including total occlusion)
  • Carotid artery disease (involves blockage of an artery)
  • Peripheral artery disease (narrowing of the peripheral arteries outside the heart)
  • Raynaud’s disease (a disorder that causes blood vessels to narrow when you are feeling stressed or cold)
  • Renal Artery Disease (narrowing of the arteries that serve the kidneys)
  • Stroke (happens when blood flow to the brain stops)
  • Varicose veins
  • Vasculitis (blood vessel inflammation)

What are the symptoms?

    The symptoms of vascular disease may vary depending of the type of condition, but some of the most common ones include:

  • Muscle pain, heaviness or cramps
  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the leg, ankle, feet, arm and/or face
  • Lack or loss of coordination
  • Loss of balance

What are the risk factors for vascular disease?

There are different sets of risk factors for each type of vascular disease. Some of the most common risk factors include:

  • Age (older people are at higher risk)
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of vascular disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Infection or injury that harms your veins
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking

What are the diagnostic tests or screenings?

If you have symptoms of vascular disease, your doctor may recommend one or a combination of the following tests/screenings:

  • Blood tests
  • Catheter Angiography
  • CT Angiography
  • CT Scan
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Exercise ABI
  • Heart Screening
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • MR Angiography
  • Ultrasound
  • Venography

What are the treatments for vascular disease?

Here at Baptist Health, we tailor-fit our treatments and procedures based on your needs. Our vascular specialists provide research-backed medical care, seasoned with Southern Texan kindness and hospitality. For vascular diseases, our providers may recommend lifestyle changes, along with medicines, non-surgical procedures and/or surgical procedures depending on the severity of your condition.

Find a Vascular Specialist

If you suspect that you have vascular disease or if you are experiencing symptoms, please see a doctor as soon as possible. Just like other chronic conditions, early detection of vascular disease can help prevent greater health risks in the future.

Fill out the contact form today and we’ll get in touch with you to refer a doctor.

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