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Understanding Vascular Disease

Featuring: Vascular and Endovascular Surgeon Gregory Domer, MD

Whatever your lifestyle – house, apartment, city, suburban, electric, gas – your day-to-day routine depends on intricate systems interconnected to power supplies, water supplies, motors, pumps and the like. We pay a lot of attention TO and a lot of money FOR it. Less top-of-mind tends to be the connecting infrastructure. But when there’s a problem somewhere along the transmission lines, it can shut down critical systems. Think of a massive water main break in the neighborhood or even somewhere along the underground line from your home to the street.

Think of your body’s vascular network the same way. The blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients throughout your body and remove waste from your tissues are prone to blockage and even breakage, and when an issue is discovered, it’s a sign of a disease process with wide-ranging implications.

“Vascular disease is a systemic disease, meaning that if you have it in your heart, you have it all throughout your body; if you have it in your foot, you have it all throughout your body,” explains Vascular and Endovascular Surgeon Gregory Domer, MD. “It’s never focal to one point in your body. It may never become clinically relevant elsewhere, but it’s present.” It can make its presence known in many ways:

    • Aneurysm – a bulge or weakening in the wall of an artery
    • Atherosclerosis – a buildup in the arteries of plaques of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances in the blood
    • Coronary artery disease and carotid artery disease – narrowing or blockage of an artery, usually by plaques; it may first be discovered in peripheral artery disease in the legs
    • Blood clots – semi-solid or gel-like masses that form in your arteries and veins
    • Stroke – a blockage of blood flow to the brain

KYW’s Rasa Kaye discusses vascular disease with Dr. Domer, including how it’s diagnosed, treated, and prevented (with a bonus bit of crazy Albert Einstein medical trivia!).

Are you at risk for Peripheral Artery Disease?

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