And when you find out there’s a problem, there might be a moment of panic. What happened? Is this serious? How do I fix it? Like plumbing issues, vascular diseases can range from a temporary, repairable situation to an extended, serious concern. But it can sometimes be hard to tell whether a symptom, like leg cramps, is just an annoyance or something you should get checked out.
When it comes to vascular disease, grinning and bearing it isn’t an option. You need the expertise and compassionate care of vascular specialists who’ll get to the bottom of the issue. Cleveland Clinic’s experts will give you care that can improve how you feel day to day or even save your life.
Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Vascular Disease Care?
Cleveland Clinic is nationally ranked for its heart care and recognized as the world leader in cardiovascular care.
Our specialists are highly skilled and experienced in treating a wide range of conditions affecting your blood vessels. People travel to Cleveland Clinic from all 50 states and around the globe to get care due to our excellent outcomes year after year.
We diagnose and treat a range of conditions, from blood clotting disorders and carotid artery disease to peripheral artery disease and leg and foot wounds. We also have a skilled pulmonary embolism response team that provides fast, life-saving care and long-term treatment plans for blood clots in the lungs. We bring together experts from across specialties to give you the best care.
Blood vessels are everywhere in your body. So, treating blood vessel problems means preventing or managing issues from your head to your toes. Our vascular team works with experts in many different specialties to confirm diagnoses, plan treatments and follow up on your care. Meet our team.
Diagnosing Vascular Disease at Cleveland Clinic
Maybe you’ve put up with symptoms for a while, or maybe they’ve come on suddenly. Perhaps you’ve felt totally fine, but a healthcare provider recently spotted a problem during a routine test. No matter how you came to us, we’re glad you chose Cleveland Clinic.
We treat a wide range of vascular diseases, from common ones like aortic aneurysms and peripheral artery disease (PAD) to rarer ones like vasculitis, fibromuscular dysplasia, Vascular Ehler’s-Danlos Syndrome, and Klippel-Trenaunay Sydrome (KTS).
Whatever your situation might be, we’ve seen it before and know how to help. If you’re nervous and wondering what comes next, that’s normal. But once you step into our office, we’re in this together. We’re ready to get to know you and give you the best possible care. That means finding or confirming a diagnosis and customizing treatment to your needs.
What to expect at your first visit
Your first visit is our chance to sit down, get to know you and hear about what’s been going on. We’ll ask you to tell us about your symptoms and your overall health. We’ll also want to know how any vascular conditions are affecting you.
Is pain keeping you from getting out and doing the things you love? Do leg cramps or leg swelling limit the activities you can do with your family? Vascular disease doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s part of your daily life, and we want to learn how it’s changing your routine and what that means to you.
After talking a bit, we’ll do a physical exam. Diagnosing vascular disease is like doing detective work. Our specialists look for all possible clues to reveal what’s happening inside your body and why. We’ll look at any areas of your body where you have symptoms, like your legs or feet. We’ll also look for less obvious signs of problems and review your medical records for more clues.
Tests can help fill in the missing pieces and answer lingering questions, like what caused the condition in the first place. These tests happen in a vascular lab. We start with noninvasive tests first, like vascular ultrasound. When needed, we’ll do more invasive tests like angiography to learn more. We’ll do everything possible to make you comfortable throughout these tests and prepare you for each step.
Second opinions for vascular disease
For some people with vascular disease, it can be discouraging to hear that treatment options are limited. That’s why at Cleveland Clinic, we encourage second opinions. Our specialists can go over your diagnosis and give you our perspective on next steps. We also may be able to offer treatments that aren’t available elsewhere — including alternatives to amputation.
A second opinion can give you peace of mind and a sense of confidence in the path forward — and in the providers who’ll guide you along the way.
Meet Our Vascular Disease Team
Our team is your team, and we’re here to help you feel better. Vascular disease is complex. It affects many different parts of your body, and it has many possible causes. A group of providers from different specialties will work together to customize care to your needs. Your team may include:
- Vascular medicine specialists.
- Vascular surgeons.
- Geneticists (gene specialists).
- Genetic counselors.
- Podiatrists (foot and ankle specialists).
- Plastic surgeons.
- Physical therapists.
Providers Who Treat Vascular Disease
LocationsOur healthcare providers see patients at convenient locations throughout Northeast Ohio, Florida and London.
Treating Vascular Disease at Cleveland Clinic
We have a wide range of treatments available to improve your symptoms, lower your risk of complications and help you feel better in your daily life. We tailor treatment to the specific condition you have. We’ll go over your options and explain the pros and cons of each treatment in your unique situation.
In some cases, lifestyle changes can make a big difference. We call this conservative treatment. There’s a lot we can do to prevent and manage vascular diseases just through changes in your daily routine. For example, we can help you:
- Make a heart-healthy eating plan.
- Create a safe exercise routine that improves blood flow.
- Choose compression stockings and stick with wearing them.
- Quit tobacco products.
- Take excellent care of your feet to treat and prevent issues like foot and toe ulcers.
It can be hard to make long-term lifestyle changes on your own, but we’ll be right there with you to help you stay on track and answer any questions that come up.
We may prescribe medications for you to take regularly at home. Sometimes, we use medications in the hospital to treat emergency situations (like a pulmonary embolism, or PE). You may need medications to:
- Help your blood vessels stay open.
- Prevent blood clots.
- Resolve existing blood clots.
- Lower your blood pressure.
- Manage your cholesterol.
We’ll tell you more about each medication you need to take, how it helps you and any possible side effects.
Procedures and surgeries
If you need more than lifestyle changes or medications, our specialists are prepared to do many different procedures and surgeries to help. For example, we can:
- Remove plaque from narrowed or blocked arteries using minimally invasive methods (atherectomy) or surgery (endarterectomy).
- Open up a blocked artery (angioplasty) and insert a small device (stent) to keep it open.
- Create a new route (peripheral artery bypass) for blood to flow around blocked arteries.
- Put a device (vena cava filter) in place to trap blood clots before they can reach your lungs.
- Remove (thrombectomy) a blood clot.
- Close off damaged veins using a chemical solution (sclerotherapy) or heat (endovenous thermal ablation) so you no longer see them or feel symptoms.
- Take healthy skin from one part of your body and use it to cover damaged skin (skin graft).
- Remove small amounts of muscle or bone that press on a blood vessel (this happens in conditions like thoracic outlet syndrome and popliteal artery entrapment syndrome).
These are just some of the treatments we offer. We’ll talk with you about these and other options, and develop a plan tailored to you and your needs.
Vascular disease often needs lifelong care. You can expect to have many appointments for tests, treatments and follow-ups. We’ll be with you for all of it. There’s a lot to juggle when you’re living with vascular disease, but you don’t have to keep all the balls in the air by yourself. We’ll help you stay on track, and we’ll step in to catch what you can’t handle on your own.
Taking the Next Step
You probably don’t think twice before calling someone to repair a clog in a drain or fix a leaky pipe. But when it comes to self-care, it’s not always easy to make that call or put into words how you’re feeling. Or even to admit something is wrong. We understand that, and we’re ready to sit down with you and simply listen to your story. Vascular disease is common, but your experience is unique. Cleveland Clinic’s vascular specialists are dedicated to you and your health, and we’re always there for you. You don’t have to wait to start feeling better and living your best life.
Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s vascular disease experts is easy. We’ll help you get the care you need.
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