Understanding the Different Types of Vascular Conditions

Understanding the Different Types of Vascular Conditions

When your heart beats, it’s pumping blood through a vast and intricate system of blood vessels called the circulatory system. This system contains elastic tube-like vessels that carry blood to every part of your body. Different vascular conditions such as peripheral artery disease (PAD) and deep vein thrombosis affect blood and oxygen circulation. 

At Vascular Associates of San Diego in La Mesa, California, our vascular specialists are trained to recognize all types of vascular conditions and disease management. We offer non-surgical, catheter-based, minimally invasive methods to keep you healthy. We strive to ensure our patients experience minimal discomfort and limited impact on their daily lives.

Our providers monitor your vascular system, watching for signs or symptoms of disease. Many vascular conditions can affect your arteries, veins, lymph vessels, blood vessels, and circulation.

Deep vein thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when you have a blood clot in a deep vein. If the blood clot breaks free, it may travel through the bloodstream and lodge in the blood vessels of the lungs (called pulmonary embolism), a potentially life-threatening condition. 

You may not have any symptoms alerting you to an issue. However, a DVT typically occurs in one arm or one leg. Symptoms include:

The earlier a thrombosis is detected, the better the chances of treatment.

Chronic venous insufficiency

One result of DVT is chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). CVI occurs when the venous wall or valves in the leg veins are not working correctly, making it difficult for blood to travel back to your heart from your legs. 

To keep your blood flowing up to your heart, your veins have one-way valves. When the valves are damaged, blood leaks backward. This causes valve damage or weakening, making it hard for blood to flow up to your heart. This also makes your blood pressure remain elevated for long periods, causing chronic venous insufficiency. Symptoms of CVI include:

CVI doesn’t go away on its own and requires a specialist to diagnose and treat this vascular condition.

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is also called atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. An artery is a vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients from your heart to different parts of your body. PAD affects blood flow in your arms and legs.

Arteries with a smooth lining promote steady blood flow and prevent blood clots. PAD occurs when plaque gradually forms inside the artery walls, narrowing or blocking the arteries. Besides fat and cholesterol, plaque contains inflammatory cells, proteins, calcium, and other substances. By narrowing or blocking the arteries, blood cannot get through to nourish organs and other tissues, causing damage and even death to them. Symptoms of PAD include:

These are only a few PAD symptoms, and many people don’t have any symptoms at all.

Varicose veins

A varicose vein is a twisted, swollen blood vessel that bulges just under your skin's surface. Usually, they appear on the legs, feet, and ankles and are blue or purple. Sometimes, spider veins can surround varicose veins.

Despite their unsightliness and discomfort, varicose veins aren’t dangerous for most people. Severe varicose veins can cause serious health problems, such as blood clots. You can usually treat these problems at home. Vascular Associates of San Diego offer radiofrequency ablation, sclerotherapy, or VenaSeal treatment in more serious cases. 

Besides seeing the large swollen veins, other symptoms include:

Our outpatient procedures for varicose veins mean little to no pain, downtime, or inconvenience for you.

Early detection: The key to a healthy vascular system

Vascular conditions develop insidiously and are often well advanced by the time a patient recognizes the first symptoms. Thanks to our early detection examinations, we can recognize signs early on and create a treatment plan quickly. 

Contact the experts at Vascular Associates of San Diego or book an appointment online today to schedule a checkup. 

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