With every beat of your heart, blood is pumped through a complex system of large and small blood vessels known as the circulatory system. Blood vessels are elastic tubes that transport blood throughout the body. Arteries move blood away from the heart and veins return it. Vascular disorders are defined as any condition that affects these vessels and prevents the circulatory system from functioning properly.
Types of Vascular Disease
There are many types of vascular disease. Some conditions are severe and must be handled immediately, while others can be managed with the proper care. Common vascular diseases include:
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) is a protrusion that begins in a weakened area of the aorta within the abdomen. When the heart beats, added pressure is placed on the weakened aortic wall, making the aneurysm grow. Over time, the aneurysm can become so large that the weakened area can no longer handle the pressure, resulting in a rupture. When this occurs, heavy internal bleeding takes place — a circumstance that is often fatal. In order to prevent a rupture, it’s crucial to discover the AAA as soon as possible.
Carotid Artery Disease
Carotid artery disease occurs when the major blood vessels connected to the brain develop a plaque buildup, usually caused by atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries). When the buildup becomes severe, it can have serious complications, including stroke.
A stroke is a serious medical emergency that occurs when an area of the brain is damaged by carotid artery disease. What’s more, a large percentage of strokes are ischemic strokes, where a significant amount blood flow to the brain is inhibited, often because of blockages in the carotid arteries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strokes are one of the top causes of death in the United States.
Peripheral Artery Disease
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) develops when atherosclerosis causes a plaque buildup in the arteries that transport nutrients and oxygen to the tissues of the body. As the plaque thickens, essential circulation to the limbs is inhibited and can lead to full artery blockage. In its early stages, PAD may only cause trouble when walking, but in its most advanced stages, it can result in infections, ulcers, and gangrene — which may require amputation. Further, people who have PAD are far more likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke than those who do not have PAD.
At Baton Rouge Vascular Specialty Center, we’re committed to providing the best possible care and capabilities for your treatment. With over 30 years of experience, our vascular specialists can help you feel your best with the most advanced treatments available today. To schedule your appointment, call (844) 747-3702.