Understanding Vascular Disease

Have you been told that you may need to have vascular surgery? Does it scare you? An understanding vascular disease is essential to understanding your risk for needing vascular surgery Franklin TN.

What Vascular Disease Is

One of the most commonly talked about diseases in the United States is heart disease. The consequences of the condition are well known, including blockages of the primary blood vessels that carry blood to the heart and away from the heart. These are known as coronary arteries.

Unfortunately, one of the major concerns associated with vascular disease is ignored. Few people realize that the plaque and cholesterol buildup affects more than just the coronary arteries. This build-up affects all of the arteries and veins in the body, which reduces the amount of oxygen provided to the body. There are three vascular diseases that are considered more common and are diagnosed more frequently than other types of vascular disease.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm is caused by a weak spot in the primary artery located in the abdomen. This causes a bulge that progressively enlarges due to the pressure that is being generated through every heartbeat. If the condition goes undetected, the wall weakens to the point where it could rupture. This can cause massive internal bleeding, which can rapidly become fatal. The only way to prevent this condition from becoming fatal is to diagnose and treat it before it becomes a serious risk to your health.

Carotid Artery Disease – Stroke

Carotid artery disease is a condition where vessels that provide primary blood supply to the brain are narrowed because of plaque buildup. Over time, this plaque buildup causes a secondary condition called atherosclerosis, which hardens the artery. A severe blockage and hardening of the arteries can cause a stroke, which can permanently damage parts of the brain. Most of the strokes that are caused by this condition are considered “ischemic strokes,” which is defined by the lack of oxygen to the brain. This occurs similar to the process that causes a heart attack. Strokes are the third leading cause of sudden death in the United States.

Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a condition that develops when atherosclerosis leaves plaque to build up in the arteries. This plaque buildup reduces blood flow to tissues throughout the body. Over time, the blockage can reduce necessary blood flow to limbs to the point of complete blockage.

Early in the disease process, the disease can cause difficulty walking. The reduction of blood flow can cause numbness and tingling. It can also cause sores to develop on the affected extremities. These sores include foot ulcers. Reduction of blood flow can lead to infection and the possibility of gangrene. Severe cases can require amputation of a part or all of a limb. Patients with vascular disease face an increased risk of dying from a stroke or heart attack than the rest of the population. Patients with PAD are at a significantly higher risk than others.

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