If you think the only reason to visit a vascular doctor is to treat spider and varicose veins, think again. Here are just a few of the many reasons you would visit – or be referred to – a vascular doctor.
Varicose veins – and smaller spider veins – are the result of faulty valves that inhibit proper blood flow, resulting in the blood pooling to create lumpy, gnarled-looking veins that are both painful and unsightly. While it may be convenient to simply cover up the affected veins with pants or socks, both spider and varicose veins are indicators of poor vascular health that, left untreated, may present in more concerning symptoms down the road. Vascular doctors are experienced at treating spider and varicose veins through both conservative and minimally invasive techniques like ablation and microphlebectomy or sclerotherapy.
Located on either side of your neck, your carotid arteries permit oxygen-rich blood to flow freely from the heart to the brain. Should these arteries become narrow or blocked as a result of plaque build-up (atherosclerosis), you are at an elevated risk of developing heart attack or stroke. Oftentimes patients have no idea they have Carotid Artery Disease – CAD – until a life-threatening event occurs. A vascular doctor is adept at diagnosing CAD by using a stethoscope, or with more complex diagnostic tools such as a carotid ultrasound to image the arteries as well as to measure the speed of blood flow in the affected area. If diagnosed with CAD, your vascular doctor will recommend any number of treatments, from removing the plaque and stenting, as well as simple lifestyle changes for better vein health.
Peripheral Artery Disease – PAD – is a common circulatory condition the results in narrowed arteries that prevent or reduce the amount of oxygen-rich blood that reaches the limbs. Similar to CAD in that it too is a result of atherosclerosis, PAD can result in muscle cramps and tissue damage due to inadequate blood flow. Left undiagnosed or untreated, PAD can result in loss of limbs, heart attack or stroke. Vascular doctors diagnose PAD through blood pressure tests, as well as CT scans, ultrasounds, and MRIs, and often treat via angioplasty with stenting.
Deep Vein Thrombosis – DVT – is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when a blood clot partially or completely blocks a vein that is located deep below the skin. Should that clot break loose, it can travel to the lungs, resulting in a pulmonary embolism that can cause pain, shortness of breath or sudden death. Vascular doctors can diagnose DVT with any number of tests, to include ultrasound and venography, and will treat the condition with blood thinners and recommendations of lifestyle changes that include more exercise and wearing compression hose.
Poor blood circulation can be the result of high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, or faulty valves that cause varicose and spider veins. Remember – any time your circulation is performing at less than optimum, you are at risk for tissue death, limb loss, stroke or death. Vascular doctors can determine the reason for your poor circulation, then develop a treatment plan that may include medication, lifestyle changes and, in some cases, surgical procedures.
Spider and varicose veins provide visible evidence that you should see a vascular doctor. But not all symptoms appear to the naked eye. If you are experiencing dizziness, pain in your limbs, swelling and tingling – especially in the limbs and feet, dry skin or hair loss, it’s time you get checked out by a vascular doctor. In Tampa and Largo Premier Vein & Vascular excels in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of vascular diseases – from stroke, chronic venous insufficiency and deep vein thrombosis to poor circulation. We also offer MediSpa services, including Body Sculpting with truSculpt. Don’t wait. Call Premier Vein & Vascular today at (888) VEINCARE or request an appointment online for optimal vein health.