The body is made up of a complex network of arteries and veins. If blood flow is affected due to trauma, blockage or weakening of the blood vessel walls, then different parts of the body can be affected. These conditions can result in loss of function or threat to life.
Early detection of vascular disease and, if necessary, medical management or invasive intervention are important and can save life and limbs. Symptoms of decreased blood flow in the arteries of the extremities may include, but are not limited to cold legs or feet, numbness, chronic pain, weakness, and a lack of sensation. If venous disease is present, then patients can present with bulging veins, significant swelling, purple discoloration of the skin and pain in the extremities.
According to the CDC, “approximately 8.5 million people in the United States have PAD (Peripheral Arterial Disease), including 12-20% of individuals older than age 60.” Factors that increase the risk of developing peripheral artery disease include elevated blood cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, hypertension, inactivity, and overweight/obesity.
The American Heart Association reports, “CVD (chronic venous disease) is a very common problem, with varicose veins affecting more than 25 million adults in the United States and more than 6 million with more advanced venous disease.” Factors that increase the risk of developing CVD include advancing age, prolonged standing, family history, number of pregnancies and other factors.
As surgeons and specialists at Portneuf, we place a high value on training other surgeons, including our next generation of surgeons. Through teaching, there is also much learning. I was fortunate to be one of five Surgical Instructors invited to teach an Advanced Skills Training Course for Rural Surgeons held in Washington, DC, as part of the last annual meeting of the American College of Surgeons. The instruction focused on vascular surgery and was offered to those working in small towns and/or in rural settings. Surgeons from more than 20 different states and from 4 different countries enrolled to further develop their advanced open surgical and endovascular skills related to arterial and venous problems. Emphasis was put on emergencies such as sudden blockage of blood flow to the extremities, injury to important arteries with associated bleeding, and management of vein problems in the legs.
There is a wide range of therapies to treat conditions related to arterial and venous disorders. If you are experiencing any concerning vascular symptoms, it is important to consult a physician or contact a vascular specialist. Portneuf Vascular Specialists offer comprehensive vascular services. Our philosophy is centered on the desire to provide each patient access to the most advanced, proven technology available. I specialize in the treatment of patients with carotid, aortic, and lower extremity arterial/venous disease, using both open surgical and minimally invasive (endovascular) techniques.