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Vascular Disease

Vascular Disease: The Heart’s On and Off Ramps

Touro’s heart and vascular physicians and specialists in New Orleans utilize advanced vascular treatment procedures to improve blood circulation problems and inhibit fatty build-up in the carotid arteries (causing a stroke), coronary arteries (causing a heart attack), or peripheral arteries (causing loss of limb). Vascular disease can be caused by blood clots that block blood flow, inflammation that narrows blood vessels, limb injury or genetics. The most common cause of vascular disease is Atherosclerosis, a buildup of a fatty substance called plaque inside the arteries.

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Peripheral Vascular Disease and Limb Loss

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) (aka peripheral artery disease or PAD), most commonly affects the legs and feet when plaque accumulates in the arteries. PAD is a slow and progressive circulation disorder. The narrowing, blockage, or spasms in a blood vessel can lead to a condition called Critical Limb Ischemia, a severe form of peripheral artery disease. If blood flow to the toe, foot, or leg is completely blocked, the tissue starts to die (gangrene). Medical care is needed right away to restore blood flow and reduce the risk of losing the limb.

Learn more about Touro’s Limb Loss Program

Carotid Artery Disease and Strokes

Carotid Artery Disease, reduces the flow of oxygen to the brain. The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen to work. Even a brief pause in blood supply can cause problems. Brain cells start to die after just a few minutes without blood or oxygen. If the narrowing of the carotid arteries is severe enough that blood flow is blocked, it can cause a stroke. If a piece of plaque breaks off, it can block blood flow to the brain. This too can cause a stroke.

Learn more about Touro’s Stroke Program

Coronary Artery Disease and Heart Attacks

The most common cause of Coronary Artery Disease is atherosclerosis when the blood supply coronary to the heart muscle reduced due to a blockage. A heart attack can result because the heart muscle needs oxygen-rich blood to work, and oxygen-depleted blood to be carried away. To restore blood flow, angioplasty, coronary stenting or even bypass surgery may be utilized.

Learn more about Touro’s Heart Surgery Care

Peripheral Artery Disease Treatment

PAD Program

Touro’s Peripheral Artery Disease Program is a part of the Wound Care Center. Treatment includes medications, therapies and procedures that improve blood flow to the extremities. Specialists in cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, interventional radiology, wound care, plastic surgery, orthopedics, rehabilitation, and infectious disease work together to prevent infection, heal wounds and ulcers, improve circulation, and preserve limbs and their function. The program offers options if you have been diagnosed with PAD, claudication, an abnormal ABI test result, and/or non-healing ulcers due to arterial insufficiency. Depending on the severity, poor circulation management may range from lifestyle changes, medications, angioplasty, stenting, to artery bypass.

Angioplasty and Stenting

Angioplasty and stenting are procedures to improve the blood flow in an artery or vein (heart (coronary artery), legs (peripheral artery), or neck (carotid artery). Balloon angioplasty inserts a special catheter with a balloon tip into the blocked blood vessel that inflates, compresses the fatty tissue or plaque, and widens the opening for improved blood flow. The surgeon may then place a small stent in the artery to keep it open, remove the plaque by atherectomy or bypass the artery such as in femoral popliteal bypass surgery, the largest artery in the thigh.

varicose veins

The most common venous diseases: Varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis

Varicose veins

These are twisted, enlarged veins typically occurring in the legs. For most people, it’s a relatively harmless cosmetic issue that requires no care, but some cases can be more dangerous—that’s where we can help. If you have dark purple or blue veins that look twisted or bulging, or if they ache, burn, throb, or cramp, contact us.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

This is a severe ailment in which you may experience painful foot, ankle, or leg swelling on one side. You may also notice your skin is warm in patches surrounded by cooler skin, in either arms and legs or both. Blood clots are the cause of DVT, so be vigilant. If you experience any of these symptoms, come in so we can help you with treatment to avoid severe consequences to your heart.

Patient-centered care from Touro Heart Care

One of our guiding principles at Touro Heart Care is the need to treat each patient individually. Some treatments work well for some but not others, so we adapt our healing strategies to suit each patient’s unique needs. Our willingness to embrace our patients’ individuality is one of the reasons our center is so well-respected by our peers in the medical community.

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