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Vascular Center


Common Vascular Disorders

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: The largest blood vessel in the body, the aorta, can weaken and burst because of weakening due to atherosclerosis. A noninvasive test (ultrasound) can determine when an aneurysm is dangerous and needs to be treated. The weakened area enlarges and is known as an aneurysm. An enlargement is considered an aneurysm when it is 1.5 times the size of the blood vessel. There are also aneurysms in the legs and elsewhere in the body.

Carotid Artery Disease: The carotid arteries in the neck that deliver blood to the brain can become blocked by a buildup of plaque. This can cause a variety of symptoms and lead to a stroke. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent a stroke.

Mesenteric Artery Disease: The blood flow to the intestine (belly area) can be blocked by atherosclerosis. This blockage can lead to malnutrition, weight loss, even death if left untreated.

Renal Artery Disease: A blockage of the renal (kidney) arteries can lead to poor kidney function and high blood pressure. This often responds to balloon dilation and stents.

Peripheral Artery Disease: Deposits of plaque on the walls of the arteries that take the blood to the legs and arms can lead to the hardening of the arteries and can cause leg pain. When the disease progresses, the patient develops leg ulcers and gangrene that may lead to amputation if left untreated.

Venous Disease: Veins can become inflamed, dilated and blocked, particularly those in the legs. The condition can cause difficulty walking, leg ulcers, further swelling and pain. Blood clots may break off and travel to the lungs.

Claudication: Claudication is often the first warning sign of peripheral vascular disease. As peripheral vascular disease worsens, walking even short distances may be painful. The blockage reduces blood flow to your lower body, causing your muscles to cramp during activity. The pain may be relieved by rest only to return when you start walking again.

Stroke: A stroke occurs when a blood vessel (artery) that supplies blood to the brain bursts or is blocked by a blood clot. Within minutes, the nerve cells in that area of the brain are damaged, and they die within a few hours. As a result, the part of the body controlled by the damaged section of the brain cannot function properly.

Varicose Veins: Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins near the surface of the skin. They most commonly develop in the legs and ankles. Treatment options include stockings, injections, ablation or removal.

Venous Skin Ulcer: A venous skin ulcer, also called a stasis leg ulcer, is a shallow wound that develops when the leg veins do not move blood back toward the heart normally. Venous skin ulcers typically develop on either side of the lower leg, above the ankle and below the calf. Venous ulcers are debilitating to the patients and take months to heal.

Common Vascular Disorders
Symptoms of Vascular Disease
Risk Factors
Risk Assessment
How Can I Lower My Risk Factors?

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22 Bramhall Street | Portland, Maine 04102-3175 | (207) 662-0111