Vascular Surgeons located in Tinley Park, IL & Evergreen Park, IL
Arterial blockages increase your risk of having a heart attack, stroke, and can even result in death. The team at Vascular Specialists in Tinley Park, Illinois, and Munster, Indiana understands how important it is for you to have clear, healthy arteries. We offer in-office treatments to clear arterial blockages, and if necessary, provide skilled surgical procedures. Call today to learn more about your heart health or book your appointment online.
Arterial Blockages Q & A
What causes arterial blockages?
Your arteries carry oxygenated blood throughout your body to feed your brain, muscles, and internal organs. Usually, they are clear channels through which blood flows easily. When these arteries become blocked, however, it can endanger your health.
Plaque is a substance that clogs or even blocks arteries so blood can’t flow freely. This plaque is made of calcium, fat, cellular waste, cholesterol, and a substance known as fibrin that assists in blood clotting.
Damage to the walls of your arteries can lead to arterial blockages. This damage can happen due to:
- High levels of LDL, low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol)
- Low levels of HDL, high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol)
Your family history, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and excessive stress can also contribute to the damage that causes arterial blockages.
Why should I be concerned about arterial blockages?
Often, arterial blockages show no outward symptoms as they quietly do damage to your heart and other organs. Arterial blockages can lead to serious medical conditions including coronary artery disease, which can lead to heart attacks. Arterial blockages block the arteries that provide blood to the brain, potentially causing a stroke. Peripheral artery disease can also result from arterial blockages, leading to infection in your legs and feet.
Arterial blockages may cause angina (chest pain), which indicates reduced blood flow to the heart. If you experience angina, or other symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea, weakness, or heart palpitations, contact Vascular Specialists right away for an evaluation.
How are arterial blockages treated?
Lifestyle changes go a long way in reducing arterial blockages, especially if they’re in the early stages. These include:
- Quitting smoking
- Reforming your diet to include less saturated fats, cholesterol, and simple carbohydrates
- Quitting smoking
- Losing weight if you’re overweight
- Regular exercise
- Management of stress
If you have arterial blockages causing angina or putting you at risk of serious heart or circulation complications, the doctors may recommend one of the following:
A stent, or small tube, may be inserted in an artery to keep the channel open and blood circulating. Stents may be placed in-office, often with no incision. You recover quickly with a reduced risk of a full arterial blockage.
Bypass surgery is a major operation. It utilizes healthy arteries from other parts of the body to redirect blood flow around clogged arteries. This ensures blood keeps flowing optimally.
A balloon angioplasty is a procedure involving a device that pushes the plaque clogging your arteries to the sides of the walls of the artery to clear the channel for blood flow.
If you’re at risk of arterial blockages, contact Vascular Specialists. Call one of the locations or schedule using the online tool.
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