The vascular system consists of an extensive network of veins, arteries and lymph vessels that circulate nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood throughout the body and remove waste. Vascular diseases impair the ability of this system to perform these vital functions, which can result in blockages caused by blood clots that travel to the lungs from other parts of the body. Other signs include weakened blood vessels and malfunctioning valves.
Many people are unaware that they have vascular disease because it rarely presents symptoms in the early stages. The disorder becomes more common as people age. Other risk factors include heredity, illness and injury as well as pregnancy, smoking and obesity. High blood pressure, diabetes, a lack of exercise and long periods of inactivity are also contributing factors.
Symptoms of vascular disease include pain, swelling in an affected limb, a reddish-blue discoloration and an enlargement of a superficial vein. The buildup of plaque inside the artery can cause a narrowing and hardening of the blood vessel known as atherosclerosis.
If the blood vessel becomes too narrow, a clot known as a thrombosis can block the flow of blood entirely. The clot can also break off and form a blockage in another location in the body. This is known as an embolism. An aneurysm occurs when the wall of the blood vessel weakens and expands outwards. If it grows too large, the aneurysm can rupture and create a potentially life-threatening situation. An obstruction in the lymphatic system prevents the body from eliminating waste and stops the flow of immune cells. If you have any of these symptoms, some type of vascular surgery may be required.
Vascular surgery is an umbrella term for a combination of medical procedures designed to treat the challenging symptoms associated with diseases of the arterial, venous and lymphatic systems. Vascular surgery is performed only after other treatment options, like lifestyle changes and medications, have failed to produce the desired results. In many cases, vascular surgery does not involve surgery at all; we have non-surgical, less invasive options available.
If you believe that you are suffering from the symptoms of vascular disease, schedule an appointment at The Vein Center in Mount Pleasant. Our experienced physician can perform a thorough medical examination that includes essential diagnostic tests. Based on the results of the tests and the exam, the proper course of treatment will be developed. We will thoroughly explain your options, discuss the recommended treatment plan and answer any questions that you may have.
At The Vein Center, we understand that a diagnosis of vascular disease may be frightening. Rest assured that our professional staff closely monitors your health and vascular care before, during and after any vascular surgery treatments. Contact us today to request a consultation to learn more.