Tucson Vascular Specialists
Online Forms
Practice Resources
Frequent Questions
Log In

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Aortic Arch Conditions
Arm Artery Disease
Carotid Artery Disease
Thoracic Aneurysm
Renal failure
Angioplasty and Stenting
Carotid Endarterectomy
Carotid Stenting
Endovascular Stent Graft
Surgical Aneurysm Repair

Discover the artful combination of comprehensive care of cosmetic and therapeutic venous problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Who are vascular surgeons?
A. Vascular surgeons are physicians who care for patients with diseases that affect the arteries and veins throughout the body. This medical specialty first emerged in the early 1950s as a hybrid between general and cardiac surgery. However, unlike most other surgical specialties, no parallel medical discipline evolved to treat these patients and vascular surgeons were left to manage the full spectrum of vascular disease. Over the next three decades, pioneers in this specialty expanded our knowledge of the disease processes that affect blood vessels and helped to develop many of the diagnostic modalities and treatments that we use today.
back to top
Q. What is peripheral vascular disease?
A. Peripheral vascular disease refers to diseases of blood vessels outside the heart and brain. It's often a narrowing of the vessels that carry blood to leg and arm muscles. There are two types of these circulation disorders:

  • Functional peripheral vascular diseases don't have an organic cause and don't involve defects in blood vessels' structure. They're usually short-term effects and can come and go. Raynaud's disease (or Raynaud's phenomenon) is an example. It can be triggered by cold temperatures, emotional stress, working with vibrating machinery or smoking.
  • Organic peripheral vascular diseases are caused by structural changes in the blood vessels (such inflammation and tissue damage). Peripheral artery disease is an example. It's caused by atherosclerosis.
  • back to top
    Q. What causes varicose veins?
    A. The most important factor predisposing to varicose veins is a strong history of similar problems occurring in other blood relatives, such as mothers and aunts. With such a family history, individuals presumably inherit weakened valves in the superficial veins of their legs and under the right set of conditions, the veins become tortuous and dilated. Typically, factors that seem to predispose to the development of varicose veins include jobs which require prolonged standing or conditions which result in increased pressure within the abdomen, such as pregnancy or recurrent constipation.
    back to top
    Q. What is a stroke?
    A. When circulation to a part of the brain is interrupted for more than a few minutes, the brain cells in that region may die or malfunction and the patient will demonstrate loss of some bodily function such as vision, speech, and movement of a body part or sensation. When the underlying disease process is temporary, the symptoms may be similarly temporary and the episode is known as a "transient ischemic attack" or TIA. Some people also refer to these as "mini-strokes."
    back to top
    Q. What is an aneurysm and how do they form?
    A. When the wall of an artery becomes weakened, the pressure within the vessel can cause the wall to bulge out forming a localized dilation, or aneurysm. Although a small percentage of such cases are due to inherited factors, the vast majority appear to represent a variant of atherosclerosis and like atherosclerosis, they tend to occur in a limited number of locations. Most aneurysm seems to occur in the abdominal aorta, the main artery lying in the center of the abdomen. Other common sites include the groin and the vessels behind the knee.
    back to top

    Medical Glossary
    Word to look up:

    The results will appear in a new window.

    Terms and Conditions | Feedback | Privacy Statement
    Developed and hosted by Vascular Domain.
    © Copyright 2000-2019. NorthPoint Domain Inc. All rights reserved.