Vascular Disease Q & A
What is vascular disease?
Vascular disease isn’t a single medical condition but a name for a group of diseases that can affect the vascular system. Your vascular system is the network of vessels that carry blood and fluids around your body and consists of:
- Lymph vessels
- Lymph nodes
Vascular diseases and cardiovascular diseases that involve the heart can be serious and potentially life-threatening in some cases. Canyons Medical Center providers use comprehensive cardiovascular assessment and risk reduction strategies to help prevent patients from experiencing the serious consequences of vascular disease.
What types of vascular disease are there?
Among the most common types of vascular and cardiovascular diseases are:
Atherosclerosis and peripheral artery disease (PAD)
Coronary arteries keep your heart supplied with blood, and peripheral arteries carry newly oxygenated blood throughout the body. These arteries can develop a buildup of plaque, which consists of fats and waste products and causes narrowing of the arteries.
If the plaque buildup leads to a blockage, it can cause:
- Chest pain (angina)
- Heart attack
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA or mini stroke)
- Claudication and ulcers in the legs
If the blockage causes blood flow to stop completely, you could lose a leg, arm, or internal organ.
Aneurysms are bulges in the blood vessels, and most commonly affect your aorta, which is the main artery leading out of your heart. Large aneurysms can be painful and might lead to blood clots. If an aneurysm ruptures, it could be fatal.
Venous thromboembolism (VTE)
VTEs are blood clots, sticky lumps that block the flow of blood through your veins. A blood clot that forms in your leg or pelvic region is called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can lead to a pulmonary embolism (PE), a potentially fatal blood clot in the lung.
What tests can diagnose vascular disease?
The team at Canyons Medical Center uses the most appropriate tests as well as their considerable expertise and experience to help pinpoint the cause of any vascular condition.
They also have access to a range of advanced diagnostic technologies, so you may undergo one or several tests such as:
- Sonogram (ultrasound)
- Intravascular ultrasound
- Ankle-brachial index (ABI)
- CTA (computed tomography arteriogram) scan
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) arteriogram
- Doppler ultrasound
- Catheter angiography
- Aorta scan
- Carotid artery ultrasound
- Cholesterol testing
- EKG (electrocardiogram)
Not all vascular diseases cause obvious symptoms, so even if you feel fine, it’s worth getting a checkup to make sure your vascular system is operating as it should. Call Canyons Medical Center today to schedule a consultation, or book your appointment online.
Vascular diseases come in many forms, some of which can lead to life-limiting and life-threatening emergencies such as stroke and heart attack. Michael E. Cobble, MD, the director and family practice physician at Canyons Medical Center, has extensive experience in managing patients who have vascular disease. If you want to reduce the risk of serious complications from treatable vascular diseases, call the Sandy, Utah, office today to schedule your consultation, or book an appointment online.