Vascular problems can range from unsightly spider and varicose veins to life-threatening emergencies such as thromboembolism and stroke. Henock Saint-Jacques, MD, FACC, is a highly experienced heart specialist at Harlem Cardiology on Madison Avenue in New York City who uses his considerable skills to diagnose and treat the full spectrum of vascular disease. Call the East Harlem office or book an appointment online today to learn more about vascular problems and available treatment options.
Vascular disease is an umbrella term for conditions that affect the veins, arteries, lymph vessels, and lymph nodes that make up your vascular system, a network of tubes that moves blood and other fluids around your body.
Common types of vascular disease include:
Peripheral arteries carry freshly oxygenated blood around your body, while coronary arteries supply your heart muscle with blood.
Both types of arteries can suffer from a buildup of plaque, a substance formed from fat, cholesterol, and waste products. The artery narrows as the level of plaque increases, so there’s less room for the blood to flow freely.
Blockages caused by plaque can lead to angina (chest pain) or a heart attack.
If the blockage is in the carotid arteries going to your brain, it can cause a stroke, or a transient ischemic attack (TIA or mini-stroke). Blockages in your leg can cause claudication and ulcers, and if blood flow ceases altogether, you may lose the affected limb or organ.
Aneurysms are bulges in a vein or artery, most commonly the main blood vessel leaving your heart, which is called the aorta. While small aneurysms aren’t generally a problem, larger ones may be painful and might cause blood clots. A ruptured aneurysm can be fatal.
Your veins operate using a system of valves that allow blood flow in only one direction. If the valves are damaged or weakened, they may not close completely, allowing blood to flow back the wrong way. This pooling causes unsightly varicose veins that twist and bulge under your skin.
VTEs are blood clots that form in your veins. A clot in your pelvis or legs is called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If the clot breaks off and ends up in your lungs, it’s called a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be fatal.
Dr. Saint-Jacques uses a variety of diagnostic tests in addition to a physical exam to isolate the cause of symptoms that indicate vascular disease, such as:
Get your vascular health checked by calling Harlem Cardiology on Madison Avenue or scheduling an appointment online today.