Vascular medicine, also known as vascular care or vascular health, is a specialized field of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases and conditions that affect the blood vessels. The blood vessels, which include arteries, veins, and capillaries, play a crucial role in delivering oxygen and nutrients to various parts of the body. Vascular medicine encompasses a wide range of conditions, such as peripheral artery disease (PAD), deep vein thrombosis (DVT), varicose veins, aneurysms, and vasculitis. These conditions can lead to serious complications, including heart attacks, strokes, limb ischemia, and organ damage if left untreated.

Who specializes in vascular medicine? 

Vascular medicine specialists are highly trained physicians who possess expertise in evaluating and managing vascular disorders. They employ a multidisciplinary approach, collaborating with other healthcare professionals, such as interventional radiologists, vascular surgeons, cardiologists, and dermatologists, to provide comprehensive care.

Vascular medicine specialists are usually internal medicine physicians who have completed additional fellowship training in vascular medicine. During their fellowship, they acquire in-depth knowledge and skills in diagnosing and managing a wide range of vascular conditions. They gain expertise in interpreting vascular imaging studies, performing non-invasive vascular tests, and providing comprehensive care for patients with vascular diseases.

In addition to vascular medicine specialists, other healthcare professionals may also be involved in the management of vascular disorders. These can include vascular surgeons, interventional radiologists, cardiologists, dermatologists, and other specialists who collaborate to provide multidisciplinary care to patients with complex vascular conditions.

What conditions are treated under vascular medicine?

Some of the common conditions treated under vascular medicine are:

  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Varicose veins
  • Aneurysms (including abdominal aortic aneurysms)
  • Vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels)
  • Raynaud’s disease
  • Lymphedema (swelling caused by poor lymphatic drainage)
  • Carotid artery disease
  • Renal artery disease
  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Thrombophlebitis (inflammation of veins due to blood clots)
  • Vascular malformations
  • Vascular complications of diabetes
  • Vascular ulcers
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome

What types of investigations are suggested by a vascular medicine specialist?

A vascular medicine specialist may recommend a range of investigations to evaluate and diagnose vascular conditions. These investigations help assess the blood vessels, determine the extent of the disease, and guide appropriate treatment strategies. The specific investigations recommended by a vascular medicine specialist will depend on the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and suspected condition. Some common investigations suggested by vascular medicine specialists include:

  • Doppler Ultrasound
  • Angiography
  • Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA)
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)
  • Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI)
  • Blood Tests
  • Vascular Function Tests: They may include tests like flow-mediated dilation (FMD), pulse volume recording (PVR), and plethysmography.