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Vascular Care

Vascular Services at Gundersen Health System uses a multidisciplinary approach to evaluate, diagnose and treat vascular diseases.

When the arteries to your heart narrow, it can lead to a heart attack. When the arteries to your brain narrow, it can lead to a stroke. The same thing can happen to the arteries of your arms and legs. So if you have risk factors for vascular diseases or you've already been diagnosed with a vascular, cardiovascular or neurovascular condition, talk with your doctor about related risks you might have, and any tests or preventive measures you should take.

Conditions we treat

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) - An abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs when the large blood vessel that supplies blood to the abdomen, pelvis and legs becomes at least 50 percent larger than the adjacent portion of normal artery and balloons outward. We also treat other aneurysms such as iliac and thoracic.

Peripheral arterial disease - Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a narrowing of the arteries in your legs. It can put you at high risk for heart attack and other heart diseases.

Varicose veins -Varicose veins occur when your veins become enlarged and overfilled with blood. They can be just a cosmetic concern though some people experience pain and swelling.

Carotid artery disease - Carotid artery disease occurs when the carotid arteries, the main blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen to the brain, become narrowed. Sometimes, the first sign of the disease is a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke.

Renal vascular disease - Renal vascular disease occurs when the blood flow into and out of the kidneys is affected.

Hardening of the arteries - Hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, is caused by a buildup of plaque in the inner lining of an artery.

Deep vein thrombosis - Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein in your body, usually in your legs. You may experience leg pain or swelling, or it can occur without any symptoms.

High blood pressure - High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, causes your heart to work harder to get blood out to your body. It often occurs without any symptoms at all, and raises your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Leg ulcers - Leg ulcers are open skin sores, often caused by problems with blood flow in your leg veins.

Pulmonary embolism - Pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening condition in which a blot clot travels to your lungs and cuts off blood flow. It is most often due to a blood clot that develops in a deep vein in your leg (deep vein thrombosis).

Stroke - Stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when blood stops flowing to part of your brain. Most stokes are caused by a blockage in a blood vessel that supplies your brain. They can also occur if a blood vessel in your brain breaks open.

Vascular malformations - Vascular malformations are non-cancerous, abnormal growths of blood vessels. They can occur anywhere on your body and are often painful.

Treatment options

At Gundersen we offer options to manage your vascular conditions with medical therapies, minimally invasive techniques or surgery. If you've been diagnosed with a vascular condition and you're anxious about choosing the right treatment, you have other health problems or you've been told surgery will be difficult or not an option, Gundersen's vascular specialists can provide you with a second opinion and peace of mind.

Some of the procedures we offer include:

Aneurysm repair - Aneurysm repair involves placing a stent where your aneurysm is located to repair the damaged part of your blood vessel. Available through Gundersen Vascular Services

Angioplasty - Angioplasty is a non-surgical procedure used to open blocked blood vessels and restore blood flow. An interventional radiologist uses live X-rays to guide a thin catheter through the blood vessel. When the catheter reaches the blockage, the radiologist inflates a special balloon to help widen the passage through the vein or artery. Available through Gundersen Interventional Radiology

Stents - Stents are used to hold a blood vessel open so blood can flow freely. Similar to angioplasty, interventional radiologists can place a stent via a thin catheter in the blood vessel. Available through Gundersen Interventional Radiology

Thrombolysis - Thrombolysis is a procedure that uses medication to dissolve a large blood clot. A catheter is inserted into the vein using X-rays. Then, clot-dissolving medicine is delivered directly to the clot. Available through Gundersen Interventional Radiology

Mechanical thrombectomy - Mechanical thrombectomy is another method of removing blood clots. Rather than using medication to dissolve the clot, an interventional radiologist uses a mechanical device to break up the clot into smaller pieces and remove the clot pieces. Available through Gundersen Interventional Radiology

Inferior vena cava filters - Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are small devices used to prevent blood clots from traveling throughout the body and to the lungs (pulmonary embolism). Individuals affected by deep vein thrombosis, who are also at an increased risk of bleeding and unable to take blood thinners, are good candidates for this treatment. In addition to placing IVC filters, Gundersen interventional radiologists perform complex IVC filter retrieval. Available through Gundersen Interventional Radiology

Embolization - Embolization is a procedure used to prevent blood flow to an area of the body. Among many conditions, it can be used to treat vascular malformations. Available through Gundersen Interventional Radiology

Compression hose, laser treatments, injections or vein stripping for varicose veins - Available through Gundersen Vascular Services

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