A vascular disease typically develops for years before causing symptoms. Unfortunately, the first symptom is often a serious problem like a heart attack or stroke. The team at Trident Cardiology Associates, PA, offers risk assessments to determine if you’re likely to develop a vascular disease, screenings to verify the health of your blood vessels, and targeted treatment to maintain your long-term health. To learn more about your risk for vascular disease, call the office in Ladson, Walterboro, or Moncks Corner, South Carolina, or schedule an appointment online today.
Vascular disease refers to any problem that affects your body’s vast network of arteries and veins. The most common vascular diseases include:
Venous insufficiency and atherosclerosis cause many of the other vascular diseases in this list.
Venous insufficiency develops when one-way valves in the veins weaken and stop working. These valves normally keep blood flowing in one direction: back toward your heart.
When a valve weakens, blood flows backward and accumulates in the vein. That can affect any vein in your body but most often appears in your lower legs, causing:
If you have these conditions, you may experience leg pain, leg swelling, and legs that feel itchy, numb, achy, or heavy.
Atherosclerosis occurs when cholesterol, calcium, and other fats accumulate in an artery wall. Without treatment, the fatty plaque enlarges and hardens, gradually narrowing the artery and restricting blood flow.
Peripheral artery disease typically causes leg pain when walking, leg swelling, hair loss on the affected leg, and nonhealing arterial ulcers.
Coronary artery disease, carotid artery disease, and aneurysms seldom cause symptoms. Instead, the first sign of a problem is usually a heart attack, stroke, or aneurysm rupture. Renal stenosis leads to chronic kidney disease.
Treatment for a vascular disease begins with lifestyle changes to slow down the progressive disease. You may need to follow a more balanced diet, engage in regular exercise, lose weight, or stop smoking.
Your provider at Trident Cardiology Associates, PA, may prescribe one of many possible medications. For example, medications can treat high cholesterol, prevent blood clots, lower your blood pressure, and slow down plaque accumulation.
If you have a venous or arterial ulcer — an open wound that usually appears around your ankles — you need intensive wound treatment. These ulcers don’t heal without specialized wound care. Instead, they keep enlarging and lead to dangerous infections.
In advanced vascular diseases, your provider recommends a minimally invasive procedure to treat the problem. Examples range from sclerotherapy and endovascular ablation to balloon angioplasty, atherectomy, and stenting.
If you develop vascular disease symptoms, call Trident Cardiology Associates, PA, or book an appointment online today.