Vascular Disease Diagnosis and Treatment

How Is Vascular Disease Diagnosed?

Diagnosing vascular disease can be done through a variety of tests. Depending on your symptoms, risk factors and medical history, your doctor will determine the best test for you. Testing may include:

  • A physical exam
  • Blood tests
  • Ultrasound
  • CT or CAT scan
  • Stress test
  • Ankle-brachial index

How Is Vascular Disease Treated?

Lifestyle Changes

One of the first things your doctor will look at is whether there are any controllable factors that may be contributing to your vascular disease. They may recommend lifestyle changes such as maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, stopping smoking, losing weight and exercising.

Medication

Various medications can slow down or even reverse the effects of some types of vascular disease. Medications commonly associated with the treatment of vascular diseases are:

  • Cholesterol medication
  • High blood pressure medication
  • Beta-blockers
  • Diuretics
  • Anti-platelet or anti-clotting medications (aspirin)

Be sure to consult with your doctor before starting any type of medication. 

Surgery and Other Procedures

If your symptoms are severe or if you are experiencing a major blockage, a surgical procedure may be necessary. Procedures commonly performed to help treat vascular disease include:

  • Angioplasty – a balloon on a catheter can open the blockage. Often a stent is then put in place to keep the artery open
  • Endarterectomy – the surgical removal of fatty deposits within an artery
  • Bypass surgery – creating a bypass using a vessel from your own body or a synthetic tube
  • Thrombolytic therapy – the insertion of a clot-dissolving drug into your artery

If you experience an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), which is an abnormal widening or bulging of the abdominal aorta, AAA repair is imperative. This type of aneurysm can occur within the ascending aorta (the section of the aorta before the curve), the aortic arch, or the descending aorta. AAA repair options include surgery, endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR), or laparoscopic surgery. Your doctor will determine the type of repair procedure needed based on your aneurysm type and other health considerations.

At Banner Health, we’re dedicated to providing you or your loved one with the latest procedures and best treatment options. It’s just part of helping you manage your vascular disease so you can get back to your life as quickly as possible.