A Hamilton Square, NJ Vein Doctor Explains the Difference Between Vein Disease and Arterial Disease

Your circulatory system is made up of a vast network of blood vessels, each with its own specific job. Arteries transport oxygenated blood from the heart and lungs to the organs and extremities. Veins return blood to the heart after it has been used. Just as arteries and veins have different jobs, there are different problems that affect each type of vessel. Vein disease and arterial disease are two very different issues, each with its own problems and solutions.

At its core, the difference between vein disease and arterial disease is very simple. Vein diseases are issues that affect the veins and arterial diseases are issues that affect the arteries. There are a variety of different issues that can affect your blood vessels, many of which can be addressed by specialists at a varicose vein treatment center such as the Comprehensive Vein Treatment Center. Read on to learn more about a few of them.

What types of vein and arterial diseases should New Jersey residents be aware of?

A common type of disease that affects the arteries is atherosclerosis. This condition occurs when fatty deposits known as plaque build up on the artery wall. As plaque thickens, the wall becomes less elastic and may become completely blocked. This serious condition can lead to a heightened risk of heart attack and stroke.

Buerger’s disease (also known as thromboangiitis obliterans) is a less common form of arterial disease that leads to the development of blood clots. These clots occur in small and medium sized arteries in the extremities. Eventually, the clots can block the arteries altogether, leading to pain, clammy skin, and an impaired ability to feel heat or cold. Smoking is a major risk factor for this form of arterial disease.

Blood clots do not only occur in the arteries: deep vein thrombosis is a type of clot that occurs in the vein. This issue happens in veins deep inside the body, most commonly inside the leg. While not necessarily an emergency on its own, this clot has the potential to break off of the vein wall and travel through the blood stream. If the clot reaches the lungs, a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism can occur.

Varicose veins are another common form of vein disease. These bulging, twisted veins are caused by pressure from blood flowing backwards, usually due to damage in tiny one-way valves that line the veins. Varicosities are unsightly, potentially painful, and may lead to blood clots and other complications.

Differences in treatment between vein disease and arterial disease

Just as veins and arteries experience different issues, different treatments are required to address each one. Many forms of vein disease are treatable with minimally invasive options, including sclerotherapy and Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT treatment) by a laser expert.  Blood clots may be addressed with prescription blood thinners, while atherosclerosis may require more aggressive surgical treatments. Consulting with a vein specialist like Dr. Ahmad will help you learn more about the treatment options available for your particular situation.

Despite the difference between vein and arterial disease, there is one method of treatment that is common to both: living a healthy lifestyle. Making healthy lifestyle choices will help keep your veins, arteries, and the rest of your body working at its best. Maintaining a healthy weight, getting an adequate amount of exercise, and avoiding smoking can all have a positive effect on your vascular health, no matter what issues you are experiencing.

Equally important for both types of vascular disease is having a knowledgeable varicose vein doctor or spider vein doctor in your corner. Your doctor can diagnose whatever kind of vascular problem you are experiencing and guide you to an appropriate treatment. If you have questions about the differences between vein disease and arterial disease, the cost of spider vein treatment, or what you can do to ensure a healthy vascular system, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Hamilton Square, NJ office. We look forward to meeting you!

Author
Imtiaz Ahmad, MD

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