What is Vascular Disease?
Peripheral arteries carry blood to the extremities, such as the legs and feet. When these blood vessels become clogged with calcium deposits it narrows the passageway. The medical name for this hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis) is Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) or Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). This condition decreases the blood flow to the nerves and tissues, affecting 8 to 12 million Americans with pain in the legs, ulcers, wounds that will not heal and even more serious complications.Are You At Risk?
Although anyone could develop Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD), people with the following conditions may be at greater risk:
High blood pressure
Smoking or history of smoking
Family history of heart or vascular disease
Aging, generally over 50 For more information, follow these links:Vascular disease diagnosis
Noninvasive and invasive tests availableWhat is vascular surgery?Procedures Minimally Invasive Techniques Resources Vascular Disease Diagnosis
Your physician may use a variety of methods to diagnose and follow up with patients who have suspected vascular disease, which may involve the abdomen, head and neck, and arteries and veins in the limbs. After your visit, your physician may recommend you see a vascular specialist surgeon and/or undergo testing to diagnose a problem.Noninvasive and Invasive Diagnostic Testing Available:
Tests that may be used to diagnose Vascular Disease include:
Ultrasound (uses sound waves to make images of your internal structures)
CT Scan/MRI (using X-rays and radio waves to form a picture)
Ankle Brachial Index (non-invasive test to blood pressure)
Doppler study (measures and detects blood flow)
Arteriography (an X-ray image that shows the follow of blood)
Angiography (outpatient procedure to help map blood vessels)
All Sentara Peripheral Vascular Laboratories have received Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Labs (ICVAL)
accreditation, and the Peripheral Vascular Laboratory at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital is one of 19 ICVAL accredited labs in all five disciplines (intracranial, extracranial, abdominal vascular, peripheral artery, and peripheral vein). Sentara Norfolk General Hospital also has received accreditation from the American College of Radiology
designating excellence in the use of MRI and staff performance. What is Vascular Surgery?
Vascular surgery is the practice of medicine directed toward the surgical treatment of diseases of the arteries and veins, including abdominal aortic aneurysm and peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
Your vascular system is made up of vessels that carry your blood throughout your body. With every heartbeat, oxygen-rich blood is pumped from the heart to the rest of the body. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from your heart. Veins carry oxygen-poor blood back to your heart.
In healthy arteries, blood flows freely to tissues and organs. But when arteries are damaged by plaque (cholesterol and other deposits), blood flow can be slowed or blocked, or artery walls may weaken, causing disease.