What is Vascular Disorder?
The vascular system is your body's network of blood vessels. It includes the arteries, veins and capillaries that carry blood to and from the heart. Problems of the vascular system are common and can be serious. Arteries can become thick and stiff, a problem called arteriosclerosis. Blood clots can clog vessels and block blood flow to the heart or brain. Weakened blood vessels can burst, causing internal bleeding. Vascular disorder causes everything from leg pain to poor kidney function and stroke.
You are more likely to have vascular disease as you get older. Other factors that make vascular disease more likely include:
- Family History of Vascular or Heart Diseases
- Illness or Injury
- Long Periods of Sitting or Standing Still
- Diabetes or High Cholesterol
How is vascular disorder diagnosed?
An angiogram is used to locate the areas in the blood vessels that are blocked so your doctor can determine if surgery is required. The procedure involves putting a small tube, called a catheter, into a blood vessel in the leg or upper arm. When the catheter is in place, a small amount of dye is injected into the blood vessel. This allows the flow of blood through the vessel to become visible with an X-ray.
A duplex scan is another test and is a combination between an ultrasound and Doppler, which takes a picture of the blood flow through your carotid artery. Ultrasound is sound waves passing through the vessels that are recorded as they reflect off moving blood cells inside the vessel. Doppler uses a small probe that a technician moves up and down on your neck where the carotid arteries are located. The probe lets off the ultrasound waves and measures the speed of the blood flow.