Vascular disease is the collective term for diseases of the arteries, veins and lymphatics. Because blood flows to every part of the body, small blockages caused by hardening of the arteries or veins can cause significant preventable health problems such as stroke, kidney failure, and loss of a limb, if left untreated.
Vascular screening on the other hand, is simple, painless and cost effective. The screening test might include a vascular ultrasound of your carotids, an ultrasound of your artery in your abdomen looking for an aneurysm, and then blood pressure cuffs on your legs to see how well the blood’s getting to your legs.
In this video, Dr. Jeffrey Rowe explains why everyone should get screened for vascular disease:
Jeffrey K. Rowe, MD
We treat people to try and improve their lifestyle so that they can enjoy life better and be able to walk, get around. The underlying disease for vascular surgery is hardening of the arteries. It’s where the artery plugs up with plaque. If the arteries to the brain plug up, sometimes little pieces of it break away, go to your brain and start to cause what are called mini strokes.
And so those are early warning signs, and so then we clean out that artery to prevent further strokes or further problems. Some of the symptoms can be claudication, which is when you walk a half a block, you can’t walk anymore because your leg hurts, it cramps up. It’s because the muscles aren’t getting enough blood. So there’s things we do to fix that.
It’s terrible to lose a leg, and we put a lot of work into limb salvage. People come to us with the blood flow is so bad to your leg that you’re not getting enough blood to keep the skin alive. And we may put a patient through a considerable amount of testing and angiograms and interventions to try and get better flow down to that foot to save the foot.
One of the main artery problems in North Iowa is aneurysms. And nowadays, technology’s improved so much that we can fix them with a little tiny incision in the groin and you go home the next day. It’s markedly better than it was 15 years ago where we had to make a huge incision. You were in the hospital two weeks and recovering for six weeks. Nowadays, you’re home the next day and back to doing just about anything in a week.
I think it’s a good thing for anybody to get screened for vascular disease. And the screening tests are a vascular ultrasound of your carotids, an ultrasound of your artery in your tummy looking for an aneurysm, and then blood pressure cuffs on your legs to see how well the blood’s getting to your legs. They’re all very simple tests, very cost-effective, and can be done at our clinic at any day of the week.
I love my job. I love to operate. I get to cure somebody with my hands and my abilities.
The underlying disease for vascular surgery is hardening of the arteries. It’s where the artery plugs up with plaque. If the arteries to the brain plug up, sometimes little pieces of it break away, go to your brain and start to cause what are called mini strokes.
Comprehensive vascular testing is one of many critical services we provide at Mason City Clinic. Our vascular testing currently includes:
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)
Carotid Duplex Ultrasound
Vascular surgery is a surgical subspecialty that focuses on the vascular system – the complex network of arteries and veins that carry blood throughout the human body. At MCC’s Mercy Heart Center and Vascular Institute, we provide medical therapy, minimally invasive catheter procedures and surgical reconstruction.
To learn more about vascular testing and whether it might be needed in your case, consult your physician or contact Mason City Clinic’s Vascular Surgery Center at 641-494-5261.
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