Patients Education
No. Name No. Name
1. Blood Pressure 5. Peripheral Vascular Disease
2. Cholesterol 6. Stress
3. Diabetes 7. Stroke
4. Obesity 8. Vascular Diseases
Overview (Vascular Diseases):

There are three types of vessels that support in the transport of blood, and in keeping it in constant circulation from the heart to the body, and back to the heart:

  » Arteries
  » Veins
  » Capillaries

The blood vessels are more than simple tubes through which blood flows. Each has its own characteristics, depending on the role it plays in the circulatory system.

 » Arteries
Arteries are strong, flexible blood vessels that must expand to accept the blood pumped into them with each beat of the heart, and narrow to squeeze blood into the veins when the heart relaxes.

 » Veins
Veins The veins that return blood to the heart are less “active” and elastic than the arteries. Veins have valves that open to let blood through, and close to prevent blood from pooling in the legs and elsewhere due to the pull of gravity. There are three types of veins:

Superficial veins lie near the surface of the skin. Larger veins that usually are buried in the muscles or deep compartments of the body are called Deep Veins. Blood vessels that connect the superficial and deep veins are called “communicating” or Perforating Veins.

 » Capillaries
Capillaries, which look more like webs than vessels or tubes, lie in tangled “beds” in the tissues of the body. They are so tiny that blood cells must pass through them in single file. The exchange between the blood and the cells of the body takes place in the capillary beds. Here, blood gets oxygen from the cells and gives up carbon dioxide. Special capillaries in the kidneys, liver, and elsewhere take waste products that are excreted from the body. As the capillaries spread out of their beds, they thicken and merge into small vessels called “venules” that, in turn, lead to larger veins that return blood to the heart.

Preventing Vascular Disease
The best way to prevent vascular disease is to live a “healthy heart” lifestyle – don’t smoke; eat nutritious, low fat foods; exercise; control risk factors and maintain a healthy weight.

Life style changes, the single most effective steps one can take to prevent vascular disease are to quit smoking, control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and other factors that contribute to vascular disease. Regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and maintaining a healthy weight also are important.

Diagnosis (Vascular Diseases):
Duplex or Doppler Ultrasound – This non-invasive technique uses ultrasound to "observe” clots or other abnormalities in the blood vessels.

CT scan (Computed Tomography) is similar to an X-ray except the that is computerized to appear as a series of slides. When viewed together, the slices give a three-dimensional image. Sometimes a special dye, or contrast agent is been injected or swallowed before the exam to highlight the

Venography is a type of X-ray (called angiography) in which a thin, flexible tube, or catheter, is threaded into the blood vessels. A local anesthetic is given to numb the skin where the catheter is inserted, and X-rays are used to guide the catheter. A contrast agent, or dye, is injected through the catheter to highlight the blood vessel and call attention to any abnormalities. This procedure is performed by an interventional radiologist – a specialist who diagnoses and treats the vascular diseases and other conditions without surgery.

Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) is a noninvasive exam in which a magnetic resonance (MR) scanner uses harmless but powerful magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed of the blood vessels.

Diagnosing Pulmonary Embolism
A V/Q scan (sometimes called a V/P or ventilation/perfusion scan) is a nuclear medicine test in which short-acting radioactive particles are injected through a vein or breathed into the lungs. If there are areas of the lungs that do not “take up” the particles, it is a signal that there may be a blood clot. Computed tomography (CT), chest X-rays or Venography also may be used to diagnose blood clots in the lung.

Treatments (Vascular Diseases):

Bed rest

Elevation of the affected limb

Pressure stockings

Drugs to prevent blood from clotting, these drugs, called anticoagulants, keep the clot from growing larger and may prevent clots from breaking off to travel to the lungs – called pulmonary embolism. But they cannot dissolve clots that already have formed. These must be dissolved over time by the body's own system for breaking down clots, or by a new technique called:

Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis

This procedure dissolves blood clots in the veins without surgery. “Clot busting” drugs (thrombolytic agents) are injected directly into the site of the clot (the deep vein thrombus).

Catheter-directed Thrombolysis usually is performed in a hospital radiology suite by an interventional radiologist. The physician inserts the catheter into a vein in the leg and threads it to the location of the clot. With his special training as a radiologist, the doctor is able to expertly guide and watch the development of the procedure on an X-ray video monitor. When the catheter tip is in the clot, the clot-dissolving drug is sent (infused) through the catheter tube. In most cases, it takes few days for the clot to totally dissolve. The interventional radiologist can “see” and monitor the treatment using special X-rays, called venograms, and ultrasound scans. With X-ray and ultrasound pictures, the physician also can see if – after the clot dissolves – the vein wall is narrowed or damaged, which can lead to more clots in the future.

Balloon Angioplasty and Stenting: If a vein has been narrowed or damaged, it may be necessary for the interventional radiologist or other physician to perform balloon angioplasty, a procedure in which a catheter is placed in the vein under X-ray guidance to the site of the narrowing, and a balloon is inflated to press open the narrowed blood vessel. In many cases, a small mesh cylinder called a stent can be inserted through the catheter and leave behind in the vein to keep it open.

Treatments for Venous Stasis Disease
Over time, untreated DVT or other conditions may damage a valve in the vein so that it does not close completely. When this occurs, blood flows reverse into the vein below the valve and collects in the lower leg veins. Pooling of blood in these lower leg veins may cause swelling and tissue damage and lead to painful sores or ulcers. This condition is known as venous stasis disease.

Fortunately, prompt treatment of DVT or other vein disease can prevent complications such as pulmonary embolism and venous stasis disease.
Although we have attempted to provide you with the causes, diagnosis, remedies, and treatments for the above mentioned diseases. We suggest you to consult your personal physician by providing your medical history for getting information for any of these diseases.

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