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Medical Management

Background:

Non-surgical treatments play a critical role in the management of conditions affecting the Vascular system. Blockages of vessels as well as aneurysms can commonly be treated with medication only.

Narrowed/ Blocked Vessels (Occlusive Disease):

There are many reasons why a vessel may become blocked (occlusion) in the human body. This may result in symptoms (Symptomatic occlusion) or may not produce any symptoms at all (Asymptomatic occlusion).

If symptomatic, a blocked vessel can produce symptoms that can range from mild to severe. This often depends on the period of time through which the blockage has developed. For instance, a sudden blockage of the leg arteries can lead to a limb and life threatening situation. Urgent Medical and Surgical attention is required to save the limb and life in such situations. However, vessels that progressively block over months/ years (due to atherosclerosis for instance) may produce gradual symptoms. (claudication) Such symptoms can be controlled and even reversed with appropriate medication therapy and exercise regimes.

An Asymptomatic occlusion may be dangerous depending on the location of the blockage. For instance, an asymptomatic narrowing in the neck arteries may eventually cause a stroke. A narrowing of the arteries supplying the kidneys may lead to high blood pressure that is difficult to control. Medication therapies can be used to reduce the risk of an asymptomatic narrowing, however surgery is occasionally required.

Selection of Medical Treatment

The choice of medication and exercise treatments etc varies from patient to patient. A full medical history needs to be taken in order to determine the most appropriate treatment. Further tests such as heart stress testing may be required to optimize the patients response to medication therapy.

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