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Peripheral Vascular Disease (including arterial sclerosis)

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Patients diagnosed with various forms of peripheral vascular disease (PVD) are often referred to thoracic, vascular and general surgeon Louis Astra, MD, FACS for advanced and effective surgical treatment. Dr. Astra specializes in addressing arterial sclerosis, peripheral artery disease and venous insufficiency, and has many years of experience helping patients in the Tampa area get back to a more normal lifestyle following a PVD diagnosis.

Any disruption of the circulatory system that occurs outside of the heart and brain can be called a peripheral vascular disease. The primary cause of PVD is arteriosclerosis (also known as atherosclerosis), or a build-up of fatty plaque-like material within the blood vessels. When the supply of blood and oxygen to a part of the body is fully or partially blocked, this is called ischemia and typically causes pain, cold feet, bluing of the skin, and even gangrene or a stroke.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with one of the below forms of peripheral vascular disease, we welcome your inquiry regarding Dr. Astra’s effective treatment options. Please call us at 727.270.9927 or fill out an appointment request form online.

Arterial Sclerosis

Many people refer to arterial sclerosis as “hardening of the arteries.”

Symptoms of Arterial Sclerosis

  • Arm and/or leg pain and weakness
  • Breathing problems
  • Chronic fatigue and bouts of confusion

Causes and Risk Factors for Arterial Sclerosis

  • Family history
  • Diabetes
  • High-fat diet
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Aging process
  • Smoking

Atherosclerosis Diagnostics

  • Ankle-brachial test
  • Blood test for cholesterol
  • Doppler ultrasound
  • Imaging studies (MRA, CT)
  • Cardiac angiogram with contrast medium
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Stress test

Surgical Treatments

  • Angioplasty
  • Atherectomy
  • Bypass surgery
  • Endarterectomy
  • Thrombolytic therapy

Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency is the name of the medical condition in which a person’s veins encounter difficulty in sending blood back to the heart from other parts of the body. Usually, it is caused by blood clots and/or varicose veins. Women are more likely to encounter this condition than men overall, with women in their 40s being the most likely candidates for it, followed by men in their 70s.

Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency

  • Changes in skin coloration, particularly at the ankles
  • Aching, swelling and cramping of the legs that lessens when your feet are raised
  • Weakness in the legs
  • Tightness in the calves
  • Ulcers on the legs

Causes and Risk Factors for Venous Insufficiency

  • Family history
  • Blood clots
  • Varicose veins
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Leg Injury
  • Sedentary lifestyle/inactivity

Diagnosing Venous Insufficiency

  • Physical exam and medical history
  • Duplex Ultrasound
  • Venogram

Surgical Treatments for Venous Insufficiency

  • Vein and valve repair
  • Vein removal
  • Endoscopic procedure (to clip and tie off veins)
  • Vein bypass procedure