Vascular Disease

Overview

What Is Your Vascular System?

Your heart moves blood throughout your body using a complex network of blood vessels called your vascular, or circulatory, system. Your vascular system includes your veins, arteries, blood and lymph systems.

What Is Vascular Disease?

Vascular disease is the umbrella term for a disease in one or more parts of your circulatory system.

World-Class Care

Aurora’s Specialized Vascular Disease Care

Our vascular medicine specialists, cardiologists, neurologists, wound care specialists and podiatrists all work collaboratively to diagnose and treat vascular disease. We also offer a full-service rehab program to support you on your road to recovery.

When we treat you for vascular disease, you can expect:

  • Unmatched expertise: Treating vascular conditions is an Aurora specialty. Our vascular medicine program is one of the most active and established programs in Wisconsin.
  • Proactive care: Our doctors help prevent illness; they don’t just treat it. They may order a vascular test before you even notice any pain or problems. They do so when they see other health conditions or test results indicating that you may be in the early stages of vascular disease.
  • Convenient appointments: In many cases, your heart or vascular doctor can order a test and send you to one of our labs in the same building right after your office visit. We respect your time.

Symptoms

Vascular Disease Symptoms

If you have any of the following symptoms, or a cluster of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. They could be signs that you’re developing vascular disease:

  • Unexplained, persistent abdominal or back pain
  • Changes or discoloration on the skin of your lower legs
  • Cramping in your legs, especially when you walk or exercise
  • High blood pressure
  • Leg or foot wounds that don’t heal
  • Pain, swelling or inflammation in your veins
  • Pain, swelling, achiness or numbness in your arms or legs

Diagnosis & Treatment

Thorough Evaluation & Treatment for Vascular Disease

It’s critical to get evaluated and treated for vascular disease and conditions. They can lead to serious complications, including heart attack and stroke.

To diagnose vascular disease, your doctor will review your medical history and do a thorough physical exam. You may also need to undergo some additional testing.

Diagnostic Tests

Some of the detailed vascular tests your doctor could order are:

  • Angiography: An X-ray test of your blood vessels or organs using a special camera and dye
  • Ankle-Brachial Index: A simple test that compares blood pressure in your ankle with blood pressure in your arm
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)
  • Radiographic testing:
    • Computerized tomography (CT) scan
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
    • X-rays
  • Ultrasound: An imaging method that uses sound waves to create pictures of your body’s organs

Learn more about heart and vascular testing and diagnosis at Aurora.

Treatment Options

The treatment your doctor recommends will be specific to you. It will depend on your personal health, your particular type of vascular disease and the severity of your symptoms.

Your doctor will talk to you about these options:

  • Medication: To prevent and dissolve clots in your veins or arteries or reduce your blood pressure or cholesterol
  • Minimally invasive procedures: Includes angioplasty and stenting (to open blocked or narrowed veins and arteries) and stripping and ligation (to remove damaged veins and use of compression garments)
  • Vascular surgery: A more complex treatment option for advanced conditions

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