Vascular Disease

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. Heart and vascular, or cardiovascular, diseases include conditions such as:

  • ArrhythmiasAbnormal 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/hypertensionWhen the force or pressure of blood against your artery walls is too high
  • Congenital heart defectsHeart 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
  • StrokeWhen 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

Vascular Disease Treatment

MaineHealth patients with vascular disease receive state-of-the-art care from our highly skilled team of cardiologists, surgeons and interventional radiologists.If you are having vascular problems, call your primary care doctor or family healthcare provider for an appointment. You may be referred to a vascular disease specialist. Depending on the specific diagnosis, vascular disease treatment may include lifestyle changes, medication, minimally invasive procedures and surgery.

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