What is Vascular Disease?
As your heart beats, it pumps blood through a system of blood vessels called the circulatory system. Vascular disease, which includes any condition that affects your circulatory system, is caused by heart attack or stroke and is often the result of uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, cholesterol, obesity and lack of exercise.
Vascular disease occurs when blood vessels and arteries are narrowed due to fatty buildup along the inner walls. This fatty buildup occurs slowly over time, reducing the amount of blood and oxygen to tissues. This buildup often causes blood clots to form, completely blocking the flow of blood to that part of the body, and can lead to circulation problems, heart attack or stroke. The longer the tissue is without blood and oxygen, the more damage occurs.
When blood vessel disease is identified in one location of the body, it is likely that it is present in other locations as well. If blood flow to the brain is clogged, a stroke occurs. If that clogged vessel is in the heart, a heart attack occurs. In the legs and feet, blood vessel blockage is called peripheral vascular disease and can result in serious circulation problems.
At the Shawnee Mission Heart & Vascular Center, we are committed to helping you identify and control risk factors that will keep you healthy and independent.
Peripheral Vascular Disease
More than 10 million Americans experience peripheral vascular disease (PVD). It often goes undiagnosed and untreated because people believe it is a normal part of aging. PVD can be effectively treated, improving the quality of your life.
Warning Signs of PVD
• Leg or hip pain (cramping) during walking that stops when resting
• Numbness or tingling in extremities
• Burning or aching pain in toes or feet when resting
• Sore on foot or leg that won’t heal
• Cold legs or feet
• Color change in skin, legs or feet
• Loss of hair on legs.
If you suspect you have PVD, see your doctor for an evaluation. People with PVD are at higher risk for heart disease and stroke.
Advanced Diagnostic Services
Diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology services make it possible for our team of specialists to better understand a patient’s condition and develop an effective treatment plan. The Shawnee Mission Medical Center (SMMC) Radiology Department offers a full range of sonography and diagnostic imaging services that are performed by highly trained, Board-certified radiologists, technologists and nurses.
When you come to SMMC for diagnosis and treatment, you can be certain you will receive the best care available. Our Vascular Lab was the first laboratory in greater Kansas City to receive accreditation from the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories and our MRI Lab is accredited by the American College of Radiology.
Advanced diagnostic procedures include:
• CT – Angiography
• CT – Cerebral perfusion
• MR diffusion/perfusion weighted imaging
• Ultra-rapid CT
• Cerebral angiography
• Carotid stenting
• Abdominal aortic aneurysm endovascular repair
• Peripheral and renal angioplasty
• Vascular filters
• Vascular and sonography imaging
• Cardioscan – Self-referred scan for calcium in the heart
• Uterine fibroid embolization
• Placement of venous access devices.
In some cases of vascular disease, surgery may be recommended. At the Shawnee Mission Heart & Vascular Center, our Board-certified vascular surgeons are highly skilled in performing a broad range of procedures. Our minimally invasive approach significantly reduces recovery time.
Vascular surgical procedures include:
• Bypass and revascularization of extremities
• Aortic surgery for aneurysm and aortic occlusive disease
• Carotid endarterectomy
• Carotid stenting
• Dialysis access placement
• Minimally invasive angioplasty
• Stent placement for abdominal aortic aneurysms.
Non-Invasive Vascular Treatment
If you are diagnosed with vascular disease, commonly called poor circulation, it may be possible to manage your condition with medication, nutrition, exercise and other interventions. The physicians and health care professionals at the Shawnee Mission Heart & Vascular Center can discuss the best course of treatment with you.
Wound Care Center
Using advanced medical procedures, the Wound Care Center provides hope and help to patients with wounds caused by poor circulation, diabetes and other conditions. The Wound Care Center opened in 1998 to serve patients who have chronic, non-healing wounds. Our multidisciplinary team includes vascular, orthopaedic and plastic surgeons as well as primary care physicians and other specialists who are trained to evaluate each patient’s condition and determine an individualized treatment program. Patient education programs explore nutrition, exercise and other strategies that complement treatment. Curative Health Services named Shawnee Mission Medical Center’s Wound Care Center Best of the Best for excellence in patient outcomes and outstanding teamwork. For more information, call the ASK-A-NURSE Resource Center at 913-676-7777.
Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) is a largely unknown condition that affects 10 million Americans. The disease is caused by decreased or restricted blood flow to legs, feet, abdomen and head, and often goes undiagnosed and untreated.
SMMC conducts annual screenings for PVD in the legs and a circulatory condition called abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Carotid ultrasounds are also provided to test for a restricted blood flow to the brain, which may cause stroke.
For more information about PVD, AAA, stroke or our vascular screenings, call the ASK-A-NURSE Resource Center at 913-676-7777.