Carotid artery disease involves the carotid arteries that carry blood from the heart up through the neck into the brain. The combination of weakened vessels from plaque build-up from fat and cholesterol, and the damage caused from smoking, causes the passages to become narrow resulting in carotid artery disease. Strokes are caused by carotid artery disease.
AAA is a disease of the aorta, the largest artery in the body that is responsible for delivering blood to legs, GI tract, and kidney. An AAA occurs when the wall of the aorta progressively weakens and begins to budge. An AAA may continue to enlarge and eventually rupture if left untreated. A ruptured AAA is deadly; most people with ruptured AAAs do not make it to the hospital.
PAD results when the arteries in the legs become narrow or obstructed with fat and cholesterol, and limit the flow of blood to the legs. In the severest cases, it can be necessary to perform an amputation. Among other risk factors for PAD, smoking contributes to this disease.
Each of these diseases can be diagnosed early with a noninvasive ultrasound screening. If you have evidence of vascular disease, see a vascular surgeon who has the expertise to give the best diagnosis and treat with noninvasive and other procedures. With early detection patients can be successfully treated to control their disease with lifestyle changes, medications, minimally invasive angioplasty/stenting, or open bypass surgery.
To learn more your vascular health and vascular diseases, visit www.VascularWeb.org, or call 877-282-2010 for free brochures on vascular diseases.
Republished with permission by the Society for Vascular Surgery. Vascular surgeons provide expert care for circulatory disease. They are the only physicians who are skilled in all vascular treatments including medical management, noninvasive procedures, as well as surgery for advanced cases. Learn more about vascular conditions and treatments and find a vascular surgeon at VascularWeb.