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Center for Heart & Vascular Health

Vascular Health

Your circulatory system is your body’s internal superhighway. Nearly 60,000 miles of arteries and veins carry blood rich in oxygen and nutrients to your body’s organs. When your arteries and veins are diseased, they can threaten your life.

Vascular specialists understand your arteries and veins inside and out. They are the only physicians who are trained in the diagnosis, treatment and management of disorders of all parts of the vascular system (the veins and arteries in your body) other than those of the heart and brain. By coordinating care with the rest of your health care team, including your family doctor, diabetes specialists or heart specialists, they can help you to manage common vascular disorders or complex, multifaceted health problems.

You may be referred to a vascular specialist after an emergency event such as a stroke, or you may experience milder symptoms that may indicate you should seek care from a vascular specialist on your own. A vascular specialist treats:

  • Stroke: Symptoms include sudden vision change, slurred speech, weakness, numbness or a tingling on one side of the body. Stroke is caused by the presence of carotid artery disease, when arteries in the neck that supply blood to the brain become narrowed or blocked.
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA): Symptoms include a steady pain in the lower back region and lower abdomen. An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a bulge in danger of bursting that occurs in one of the larger arteries that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD): Symptoms include pain in the buttocks, thighs, knees, shins or upper feet. PAD is caused by blocked arteries in the legs.
  • Venous disease: Symptoms include swelling, tenderness, a sensation of warmth or skin that turns red or blue. Venous disease is caused when veins return oxygen-poor blood to the heart due to a blood clot which is usually located in the pelvis, thigh or calf.
  • Other common diseases: including Raynaud’s syndrome, carotid-artery disease, deep-vein thrombosis, and foot and leg ulcers.

Diseased arteries can usually be found during an examination by a vascular specialist. If a vascular condition is detected, you’ll feel confident knowing our team can perform advanced procedures—including minimally invasive surgery—to treat it. These may include:

  • Thoracic and abdominal aortic stenting.
  • Carotid stenting.
  • Peripheral arterial atherectomies.
  • Angioplasty and minimally invasive procedures for vein conditions.
  • Traditional open surgical procedures such as aneurysm repair, carotid endarterectomy and leg bypass.
  • Endovascular stenting.
  • Traditional bypass surgeries.

Choose a Center for Heart & Vascular Health Vascular Specialist

Vascular specialists from ChristianaCare’s  Vascular Specialists and Vascular Interventional Radiologists as well as other practices throughout the community provide care at the Center for Heart & Vascular Health. If you wish to ensure that you have access to the care at the Center for Heart & Vascular Health, tell your physician that you wish to be treated at ChristianaCare.