Vascular disease is a term that refers to conditions of the blood vessels, which include the arteries, veins, lymph vessels, and capillaries that make up the circulatory system. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to all parts of the body, and veins return the blood back to the heart. Vascular disease can block blood flow anywhere in the body. Vascular disease is common, especially with age, and it can be serious. It can lead to disability, amputation, organ damage, and death.
Vascular disease ranges from conditions of the arteries, veins, and lymph vessels to blood disorders that affect circulation. There are many types of vascular disease. They may cause arteries to narrow, harden, or become blocked with a sticky material called plaque, which decreases the amount of blood and oxygen supplied to the body. Symptoms of vascular disease depend on the affected location, which can include blood vessels in the heart, brain, and legs. Treatment depends on the type of condition and how serious it is.
UAB Medicine’s vascular experts and vascular surgery specialists provide treatment for all types of circulatory conditions using a wide range of services, including medical therapy, minimally invasive endovascular procedures, and open surgical reconstruction. Our experienced vascular surgeons and physicians are leaders in their field and have excellent track records in treating some of the most complex vascular diseases and conditions. That expertise is backed by the latest and most advanced technology, facilities, and treatment options, as well as our dedication to patient-centered care. A wide range of specialists work together through the UAB Advanced Limb Preservation program to prevent the need for amputation, preserve maximum function in the lower limbs in people with peripheral artery disease (PAD), and treat associated medical conditions such as diabetes.
Our vascular experts talk extensively with each patient to determine a specific diagnosis and treatment plan based on medical history, physical exam, and a variety of non-invasive testing that includes ultrasound, Doppler with plethysmography, CT scans, and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). We also employ three-dimensional overlay fusion technology, in which pre-operative imaging is overlaid with images captured during surgery, providing greater accuracy and improved outcomes. In addition, we maintain an operating room designed specifically for vascular therapies, where we perform “hybrid” procedures that combine both open surgery and minimally invasive endovascular techniques and maximize the benefits of both.
As a major academic medical center, UAB maintains an active research program that also manages clinical trials. Our commitment to innovation and discovery often means that patients have access to advanced new treatments long before they are available to the general public.
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