Our expert vascular surgeons will initially take a thorough history to gain a comprehensive understanding of your symptoms. In addition, , our consultants will also take in to account any underlying risk factors for developing certain vascular disorders. An extensive evaluation of your own medical history and any familial medical history will be sought, both of which can be helpful in building an accurate diagnosis and developing risk profiles for certain vascular conditions.
The most appropriate investigations will be requested depending on the exact information gained during your consultation.
State-of-the-art diagnostics available for you
Following your initial consultation our expert vascular consultants may request several diagnostics tests. Common vascular tests include:
- Examination of the pulses
- Comparing blood pressure in the arm and ankle (ankle brachial pressure index)
- Duplex ultrasound (to diagnose or monitor aneurysms and assess blood flow)
- Specialist CT or MRI scans (which may be taken with the use of contrast dye) to assess the blood flow through particular vessels
An invasive test known as angiography may also be considered for some patients. Used when examining a possible arterial blockage, it is performed by inserting a catheter into one of the arteries in the leg or arm and carefully feeding the catheter to the artery to be examined using specialised X-ray imaging for guidance. Specialist dye is then injected to allow any signs of blockage to be observed on an external screen.
The right treatment for you, always
In the event of peripheral vascular disease and other circulatory disorders, in most cases the initial treatment will involve lifestyle management changes and pharmacological treatment including specialist medicines to help to reduce blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.
If a significant blockage is found in an artery on angiography, we may offer an angioplasty procedure. This is a treatment which can release the blockage by using an inflatable balloon to stretch the narrowed artery open, and then maintaining this benefit by inserting a small stent to prevent further narrowing. In cases of severe arterial blockage, our vascular surgeons may offer an arterial bypass operation using a graft.
The correct treatment at the right time will be offered when treating weaknesses in the wall of arteries, known as aneurysms. This condition can be dangerous due to the possibility of the aneurysm bursting. Careful monitoring will be offered when aneurysms are at a safe size, but elective surgical repair will be offered once an aneurysm increases in size past an unsafe point.
For patients with painful or unsightly varicose veins, laser or radiofrequency ablation or surgical removal of the affected veins can be considered.