Vascular Medicine

Venous Insufficiency

Normally, valves in your deeper leg veins keep blood moving forward toward the heart. With chronic venous insufficiency, vein walls are weakened and valves are damaged. This causes the veins to stay filled with blood, especially when you are standing. Chronic venous insufficiency is a long-term condition. It is most commonly due to malfunctioning (incompetent) valves in the veins. It may also occur as the result of a past blood clot in the legs.  

Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

An aneurysm that occurs in the chest portion of the aorta is called a thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA). TAAs don't always cause symptoms, even when they're large. Only half of all people who have TAAs notice any symptoms. TAAs are found more often now than in the past because of chest CT scans done for other medical problems. With a common type of TAA, the walls of the aorta weaken and a section close to the heart enlarges. As a result, the valve between the heart and the aorta can't close properly. This allows blood to leak back into the heart. A less common type of TAA can develop in the upper back, away from the heart. A TAA in this location may result from an injury to the chest, such as from a car crash.  

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) causes pain in the shoulder, arm, and neck. It happens when the nerves or blood vessels just below your neck are compressed, or squeezed. The compression can happen between the muscles of your neck and shoulder or between the first rib and collarbone. You may feel burning, tingling, and numbness along your arm, hand, and fingers. If a nerve is compressed, you may also feel weakness in your hand. If a vein is compressed, your hand might be sensitive to cold, or turn pale or bluish. Your arm might swell and tire easily. TOS is more common in women. It usually starts between 20 and 50 years of age. Doctors do nerve and imaging studies to diagnose it. There are many causes of TOS, including: Injury Anatomical defects Tumors that press on nerves Poor posture that causes nerve compression Pregnancy Repetitive arm and shoulder movements and activity, such as from playing certain sports Treatment depends on what caused your TOS. Medicines, physical therapy, and relaxation might help. Surgery may also be an option. Most people recover.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Most aortic aneurysms are AAAs. These aneurysms are found more often now than in the past because of computed tomography (to-MOG-rah-fee) scans, or CT scans, done for other medical problems. Small AAAs rarely rupture. However, AAAs can grow very large without causing symptoms. Routine checkups and treatment for an AAA can help prevent growth and rupture.  

Blood Clots

Normally, if you get hurt, your body forms a blood clot to stop the bleeding. Some people get too many clots or their blood clots abnormally. Many conditions can cause the blood to clot too much or prevent blood clots from dissolving properly. Risk factors for excessive blood clotting include Certain genetic disorders Atherosclerosis Diabetes Atrial fibrillation Overweight, obesity, and metabolic syndrome Some medicines Smoking Blood clots can form in, or travel to, the blood vessels in the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, and limbs. A clot in the veins deep in the limbs is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT usually affects the deep veins of the legs. If a blood clot in a deep vein breaks off and travels through the bloodstream to the lungs and blocks blood flow, the condition is called pulmonary embolism. Other complications of blood clots include stroke, heart attack, kidney problems and kidney failure, and pregnancy-related problems. Treatments for blood clots include blood thinners and other medicines.