Vascular diseases affect the arteries, veins and lymph vessels of the body's circulatory system and range from aortic aneurysm, a bulging in the wall of the aorta (the body's largest blood vessel) to peripheral vascular disease, a narrowing of the blood vessels in the legs. Many vascular conditions are associated with atherosclerosis, the buildup of fatty deposits or plaque, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. Vascular disease may also affect the carotid arteries in the neck that serve as the primary blood supply to the brain, causing narrowing that can lead to stroke.
Specialists in the Vascular Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) offer evaluation and treatment of patients with vascular disease and coexistent cardiac and other disorders, including high blood pressure and diabetes. Patients at the Center can count on the most innovative vascular surgery techniques and comprehensive vascular disease treatment for a wide variety of conditions, including aortic aneurysm surgery.
Treatment for vascular disease depends on the specific type of vascular condition and the age, health and medical history of the patient and may include:
Reducing the risk factors that contribute to vascular disease through smoking cessation, exercise programs, improving dietary habits, and controlling high blood pressure.
Using medications to reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, regulate heart rate, and prevent blood clotting.
Surgery such as coronary angioplasty to open blocked arteries and a stents inserted to keep the artery open and prevent it from re-narrowing or carotid endarterectomy to surgically remove atherosclerotic plaque inside of the carotid artery wall.
The Vascular Surgical Service at our state-of-the-art Shapiro Cardiovascular Center performs more than 1,250 vascular surgery procedures every year. Advanced techniques of vascular surgery are available for the treatment of patients with vascular disease. All of our Vascular and Endovascular Surgery surgeons have had extensive training in advanced techniques of vascular surgery and treat patients within an integrated program of patient care at our Cardiovascular Center.
The Shapiro Cardiovascular Center at BWH offers the most advanced cardiovascular treatment in the New England area. The Center's Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery has the latest technology and is staffed by physicians and caregivers who are experts in their field.