About Vascular Disease

Vascular disease includes any condition that affects the circulatory system. Vascular disease ranges from diseases of your arteries, veins, and lymph vessels to blood disorders that affect circulation. Vascular disease is a progressive condition and while anyone can develop vascular disease, certain lifestyle and genetic factors can increase the risk. Vascular disease mainly affects people with the following risk factors:

  • Diabetes
  • Family history of atherosclerosis or heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Over the age of 45
  • Overweight
  • Smoking

Vascular Diseases

Peripheral Artery Disease

Your peripheral arteries or the blood vessels outside your heart may develop atherosclerosis sometimes referred to a hardening of the arteries, is the build-up of fat and cholesterol deposits, called plaque. Over time, the build-up narrows the artery. Eventually the narrowed artery causes less blood to flow and a condition called “ischemia” can occur. Ischemia is inadequate blood flow to the body's tissue.

Peripheral Venous Disease

Peripheral Venous Disease occurs when values inside veins do not close properly allowing to flow in both directions. This inability to control blood flow can cause pooling of blood or swelling in the veins where the veins may bulge and appear as ropes under the skin. The blood begins to move more slowly through the veins, which may stick to the sides of the vessel walls and blood clots can form.

Renal (Kidney) Artery Disease

Renal or kidney artery disease is most commonly caused by atherosclerosis or hardening and narrowing of the arteries. It occurs in people with generalized vascular disease. Less often, renal artery disease can be caused by a congenital (present at birth) abnormal development of the tissue that makes up the renal arteries.

Raynaud’s Disease

Raynaud’s disease consists of spasms of the small arteries of the fingers and sometimes the toes, brought on by exposure to cold or excitement. The episodes produce temporary lack of blood supply to the area, causing the skin to appear white or bluish and cold or numb. In some cases, the symptoms of Raynaud's may be related to underlying diseases (ie, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma).

Buerger’s Disease

Buerger’s disease most commonly affects the small and medium sized arteries, veins, and nerves. The arteries of the arms and legs become narrowed or blocked, causing lack of blood supply (ischemia) to the fingers, hands, toes, and feet. Pain occurs in the arms, hands and, more frequently, the legs and feet, even when at rest.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are bulging, swollen, purple, veins, seen just under your skin, caused by damaged valves within the veins.


Lymphedema is an abnormal build-up of fluid that causes swelling, most often in the arms or legs. Lymphedema develops when lymph vessels or lymph nodes are missing, impaired, damaged, or removed. Secondary lymphedema can develop from an infection, malignancy, surgery, scar tissue formation, trauma, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), radiation, or other cancer treatment.

Our team of vascular experts provide a wide range of treatment options. For a referral to a vascular specialist, call 1.877.GO MERCY or use our Find a Doctor tool.