What is vascular disease?
Vascular diseases are conditions that affect the blood vessels or circulatory system. Your blood vessels are the arteries and veins that pump blood throughout your body. Vascular diseases include conditions such as:
- Arrhythmias: Abnormal heart rhythms cased by problems in the electrical system of the heart
- Coronary artery disease: Plaque buildup that causes artery walls to narrow over time, making it harder for blood to flow
- Heart attack/acute myocardial infarction (AMI): When blood flow to the heart is blocked and the heart is unable to get oxygen from the blood
- High blood pressure/hypertension: When the force or pressure of blood against your artery walls is too high
- Congenital heart defects: Heart diseases or defects that are present at birth
- Vascular dementia: When brain cells are deprived of oxygen and die due to vascular disease or stroke
- Stroke: When blood flow to your brain stops and brain cells begin to die
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD): When blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood from your heart to your body become narrow or clogged from the buildup of fat and cholesterol (plaque)
- Peripheral venous (vascular) disease (PVD): When blood vessels that carry blood from your body to your heart become narrow or clogged from the buildup of fat and cholesterol (plaque)
- Aneurysm: A bulge or ballooning in a weakened blood vessel (usually in the aorta, brain, intestine, spleen or behind the knee)
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): A blood clot that forms in a vein, deep in the body (usually in the leg)
- Pulmonary embolus: When a blood clot loosens and travel to the lungs
- Varicose veins: Enlarged veins, usually in the legs and feet, that can cause pain and discomfort
- Vasculitis: Inflammation of the blood vessels
How do you treat vascular disease?
Through MaineHealth, people with vascular disease receive advanced care from highly-skilled cardiologists, surgeons and interventional radiologists. If you are having vascular problems, talk to your doctor about a referral to a vascular disease specialist. Depending on the diagnosis, treatment may include lifestyle changes, medication, minimally-invasive procedures or surgery.