Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
Atherosclerosis, or hardening or narrowing of the arteries, is a circulatory problem that can reduce blood flow going to the legs. The symptoms of the reduced blood flow can range from muscle cramping and leg pain while walking (known as claudication), changes in skin color and temperature, poor wound healing, and can cause eventual loss of legs. Risk factors include smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history, poor nutrition and lack of exercise.
Primary treatment includes quitting smoking, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, managing blood glucose, maintaining a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise. PAD is a serious disease that can become life threatening if left untreated. Our physicians can perform a variety of procedures to assist with severe PAD. Procedures include:
Carotid Artery Stenosis (CAS)
The carotid arteries are what supply the brain with blood flow, and narrowing or blockage of these arteries with the buildup of cholesterol and plaque can lead to a stroke. Common symptoms can include weakness or numbness on one part of the body, loss of vision in one eye, or difficulty speaking clearly. Primary prevention of a stroke can include quitting smoking, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and use of medications to prevent blood clot formation. Our physicians can treat severe CAS with a variety of surgical treatments to effectively open carotid arteries and decrease the risk of a stroke. These procedures include:
Abdominal/Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms
The aorta is the largest artery in your body, and carries blood away from your heart to all parts of your body. When a weakened are of your aorta loses its elasticity and bulges out, it is called an aneurysm. Most people do not produce symptoms, and it may be found on a routine physical examination. Aneurysms are a serious health risk because they can rupture. A ruptured aneurysm can cause severe internal bleeding, which can rapidly lead to shock or death. Our physicians can perform a variety of procedures for an aneurysm that is at risk for rupturing. These procedures include:
Diabetic Vascular Disease
This condition involves the development of blockages in the arteries throughout the body due to the diabetes. Too much glucose builds up in the bloodstream either because of the body’s inability to produce insulin or use it efficiently. Insulin is needed to transport glucose from the bloodstream to cells to be used for energy. Several vascular diseases are linked to diabetes. One is retinopathy, which is the abnormal growth of blood vessels in your retina, which is part of the eye. Another condition that affects the kidneys is called nephropathy. You can also develop neuropathy, which is a condition of the nerves that causes a protective sensation of the toes or feet. Diabetes can also result in hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Our physicians can provide a variety of treatment options for the management of diabetic wounds.
These conditions affect the blood vessels in the kidneys. The kidneys filter and rid your body of waste when the blood flow is normal. These wastes are filtered into the urine. The kidneys also control blood pressure by secreting hormones into the bloodstream.
When the kidney vessels narrow or become clotted, the kidneys are less able to function properly. This can be known as renal artery stenosis. This narrowing can lead to high blood pressure and eventual kidney failure. Our physicians can provide education and a variety of treatment plans to manage renovascular disease.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Blood Clots
DVT refers to a blood clot that forms in the deep veins of the body, most commonly in the legs. When a DVT forms, it can venous blood flow to back up, which can lead to pain, tenderness and swelling. If severe and left untreated, a DVT can break off and travel to the heart and lungs (known as a pulmonary embolus, or PE), and become lodged there. This can lead to cardiopulmonary collapse and death. Symptoms include sudden shortness of breath, chest pain and cough. Risk factors include smoking, clotting disorders, respiratory disease or cancer, the elderly, and those who are immobile or who have had recent surgery. Our physicians can effectively prevent and/or treat a DVT, which can greatly reduce the risk of death. These treatments include:
The lymphatic system involves vessels that collect excess fluid from the tissues. This fluid is carried to the lymph nodes, which filter waste products and contain infection fighting cells. This fluid is then carried back to the bloodstream. When the lymph vessels are blocked, fluid cannot be carried away from the tissues, and swelling in one or more extremities results. Our physicians can offer a variety of treatment options to manage lymphedema based on severity and individual needs.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
This is a condition that involves the compression of nerves or blood vessels due to an inadequate passageway through the area between the base of the neck and the armpit. This area is surrounded by muscle, bone and tissues. Any condition that involves enlargement or movement of these tissues, such as weight lifting, injuries, weight gain, tumors or an extra cervical rib, can cause thoracic outlet syndrome. Our physicians can offer surgical treatment to correct this problem and relieve symptoms associated with this syndrome.
Varicose Veins and Venous Reflux
Varicose veins are superficial veins that have enlarged due to damaged or diseased valves. This can keep blood from pumping effectively back toward the heart and causing it to pool in the legs. This backward flow of blood in the veins is known as venous reflux, or chronic venous insufficiency. It is progressive if not treated, and can lead to pressure, swelling, pain and bulging of veins above the surface of the skin as a result of this poor valve functioning. These veins are most typically found in the legs, and occur more frequently in women than in men. Risk factors include family history, pregnancy, obesity, menopause, aging, prolonged standing, leg injury and abdominal straining. Aside from the visual effect of varicose veins, the condition can also be painful, and can cause itching, burning, or generalized aching of the affected leg. Complications can also include darkening of the skin, bleeding, phlebitis, and formation of ulcers and infection. Our physicians have a variety of effective treatments for varicose veins and venous reflux.
Spider veins are small superficial blood vessels that appear red or blue of the skin surface. These dilated vessels most commonly occur on the legs or face. Symptoms can include dull or throbbing pain, or a burning sensation. Not all spider veins cause pain, but can be easily treated by our physicians as a quick outpatient procedure.
Treatments for Varicose Veins and Spider Veins include:
A non-healing or chronic wound is defined as a wound that shows little or no improvement after four weeks or does not heal in eight weeks. A non-healing wound poses the risk of an infection which could lead to a more serious condition, as in the loss of a limb. Wound healing is dependant on blood supply. Bloods bring oxygen, plasma, platelets, and a host of essential nutrients to help the wound heal. People with diabetes, heart disease, and poor circulation have difficulty getting oxygen-rich blood to their wound, especially if the wound is located on a lower extremity such as a foot, ankle, heel, or calf. People who eat poorly, smokers, and alcoholics also have problems getting adequate blood flow to their wounds. For those unable to walk, wounds may develop on the thighs, hips, or buttocks. Without adequate blood flow to a wound, tissue dies a process called necrosis or gangrene. Dead tissue is a breeding ground for bacteria and a perfect environment for infection.