Vascular medicine & Surgery is a branch of medicine that specializes in the management of conditions that affect the circulatory system outside the heart. This includes prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases affecting the arteries, veins and lymphatic vessels.
Common Vascular Conditions
Some of the common medical conditions that vascular medicine offers comprehensive care for include:
- Carotid Artery Stenosis: This is the narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels that transport blood to the brain. If left untreated, it may lead to stroke.
- Peripheral Artery Disease: Reduced blood flow to the limbs due to narrowing or blockage of arteries – Which may lead to gangrene of the extremities & toes.
- Aortic Aneurysm: Also known as AAA, this occurs when a part of the aorta that runs through the chest & abdomen becomes weak and enlarged leading to a possible rapture & death.
- Renal Artery Stenosis: This occurs when the arteries in the kidney become narrowed leading to kidney damage or renovascular hypertension.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): This occurs when clots develop in the deep veins of the arms or legs.
- Spider and varicose veins: Enlarged superficial veins that affects the legs.
- Lymphedema: Swelling of the extremity that can develop from lymphatic obstruction.
- Vasculitis: is an inflammation of the wall of the blood vessels.
- Atherosclerosis: is the accumulation of plague in the walls of the blood vessels leading to narrowing & occlusion
Causes of Vascular Diseases
Common causes of vascular diseases include:
- Trauma or injury
- Genetic disorders
- Build up of plaque inside the arteries leading to blockage
- Blood clots leading to blockage of the arteries
The risk factors of vascular diseases that may lead to the above-mentioned causes include, but are not limited to:
- Age – 55 years and above
- History of cardiovascular diseases
- History of smoking
- High cholesterol levels
- Overweight or obesity
- Inactive lifestyle
- Family history of the above disorders (even if you’re below 55 years old)
Diagnosis of Vascular Diseases
Vascular diseases are diagnosed through vascular screening, which can detect the presence of blockages or narrowing in the blood vessels. It is also an important tool when it comes to diagnosing any potential risks of the diseases.
Some of the major tests performed during a vascular screening include:
- Carotid artery ultrasound
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm ultrasound
- Lower extremity Arterial duplex ultrasound
Treatment of Vascular Diseases
Treatment of vascular diseases usually depends on the cause. And after a definitive diagnosis, your vascular surgeon will recommend the best treatment option, which may include:
- Weight loss and adopting a healthier lifestyle such as regular exercise, adopting a healthier diet and quitting smoking.
- Lowering cholesterol and/or blood sugar
- Stress management
- Drugs including blood thinners to prevent blood clotting, cholesterol medication, clot-dissolving medication, and high blood pressure medication.
- Surgical procedures may include open or Endovascular, revascularization of the extremities to treat blocked or narrowed vessels. Stents maybe used in these procedures.
- Repair of aortic aneurysms open or endo vascular using endo vascular stents.
- Corotid artery surgery, endarterectomy to get rid of plaque build-up inside the blood vessels. Or Endo vascular stent placement.
At King’s College Hospital Dubai, we focus on offering an exemplary service. From initial consultation through to final diagnosis, treatment and beyond. Our multidisciplinary team of expert doctors, nurses, and technologists are here to offer tailored management and treatment of your condition, and to answer any questions that you may have throughout your time with us. Whatever you need us for, we’re only a phone-call away.