Cardiovascular disease is one of the most common health issues in the United States. Statistics from Johns Hopkins University indicates that some 84 million Americans suffer from mild, moderate, or severe cardiovascular disease.
You'll find that Metro Vascular Center offers services that are geared towards patients who are dealing with vascular disease rather than cardiovascular disease. The different between the two is that the term cardiovascular refers to the entirety of the circulatory system - both the heart and the blood vessels. The term vascular refers to the circulatory system minus the heart.
What Exactly Is Vascular Disease?
Vascular disease, as mentioned above, obviously affects the body's blood vessels. In particular, however, vascular disease affects the arteries, which carry blood away from the heart and into the extremities.
When people get older, eat diets that are rich in lipids and fats, and fail to exercise regularly, their artery walls get thicker and are less elastic. Further, arterial passages get more narrow. Collectively, these three things make up what's known in the medical community as arteriosclerosis.
How Do People Get Vascular Disease?
Some people who get vascular disease don't lead unhealthy lifestyles or are genetically predisposed to come down with vascular disease at some point in their lives. The vast majority of people who get vascular disease, however, bring it upon themselves by failing to exercise, eating tons of junk food, smoking tobacco, suffering from untreated diabetes, and failing to manage their cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Peripheral Artery Disease Basics
The most common type of advanced vascular disease is that of peripheral artery disease, also shortened to PAD. In the United States alone, some three million people find out that they have peripheral artery disease each and every year.
PAD is caused directly by the buildup of plaque, a combination of cholesterol and fat, on the inside of arteries. The condition results in decreased blood flow to the limbs, causing a variety of secondary issues in affected areas.
The worst part about peripheral artery disease is that people who suffer from it are significantly more likely to experience a stroke or heart attack. This is because both strokes and heart attacks are more likely to happen in people who don't have good arterial health.
The Treatments For Vascular Disease And Peripheral Artery Disease
The two most common treatments for peripheral arterial disease at Metro Vascular Centers are stents and angioplasty.
As mentioned earlier, arteries narrow in people who have peripheral arterial disease. A good way that Metro Vascular Centers combats the problems that PAD causes is through the installation of stents in the most important arteries in the human body.
Unlike stents, which are hard plastic or metal tubes, angioplasty involves placing a balloon in each of the arteries that are heavily blocked by plaque. The balloon is inflated once it's reached its destination. Within seconds of inflation, the balloon is deflated. The purpose of the angioplasty is to make arteries wider by compressing plaque on the walls of arteries.
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