Tag Archives: blood vessels

What is a Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm?

A thoracic aortic aneurysm, say that five times fast, is a weakened and bulging area in the upper part of the aorta, which is the major vessel that feeds blood to the body from the heart. Depending on the size and growth rate of the aneurysm, treatment may vary from watchful waiting to emergency surgery.

Thoracic aortic aneurysms often grow slowly and without symptoms, making them difficult to detect. Some people may notice pain or tenderness in the abdomen, chest or back. The exact causes of thoracic aortic aneurysms are unknown, but contributing factors include hereditary conditions, connective tissue disease, heart valve failures and problems, and traumatic injury.

While there is not a medicine you can take to prevent these aneurysms, there are risk factors you can be aware of. Risk factors include age, tobacco use, high blood pressure, plaque build up in the arteries and genetic predisposition. Males are also more likely to develop a thoracic aortic aneurysm than women and more Caucasians are diagnosed with these aneurysms than any other race.

Doctors are able to diagnose thoracic aortic aneurysms through chest x-rays, echocardiograms, CT scans and MRA’s. If you think you may have an aortic aneurysm or have experienced any of the symptoms, see your doctor immediately.

For more information about vascular health contact one of the doctors at the Reno Vein Clinic at (775) 329-3100 or visit www.renoveinclinic.com.

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What Is A Blood Clot?

The medical term for a blood clot is thrombus. Blood clotting is a normal process that the body uses to repair injured blood vessels. The damage may be obvious like a cut, or it can be microscopic and completely unnoticeable. However, there are times when a blood clot will form when it is not needed and this can have potentially significant consequences.

Venous thrombosis is when a blood clot occurs in a vein when a person is immobilized and muscles are not contracting to push blood back to the heart. Think of a slow moving river where over time plants and algae begin to grow on the banks. Gradually the small blood clots begin to form along the walls of the vein and eventually they can completely or partially block the vein. Blood clots can also form in an artery (called arterial thrombi) or in the heart.

Venous clots occur most commonly when the body stops moving because of hospitalization or sitting for a long period of time. In these instances the blood can become stagnant in veins and start to clot. Clotting may also occur because of genetics, making a person hypercoagulable and at greater risk for forming clots. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and smoking are all risk factors for arterial clots.

Blood clots may cause life-threatening medical conditions including deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, arterial thrombus and atrial fibrillation. With a full patient history and examination, a doctor will be able to explore risk factors and diagnose blood clots. Treatment may require surgery and anti-coagulation medications. Prevention of blood clots involves attention to the risk factors for vascular disease.

If you think you may be at risk for blood clots, talk to your doctor and discuss symptoms and and prevention methods.

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Filed under Varicose Veins, Vascular Health

Don’t just sit there!

How sitting all day at your desk can compromise vein health and overall well being.

Sure, you’ve probably heard how getting up and moving every once and a while is key if you have a desk job. However in an article by Huffington Post Healthy Living, it can be more detrimental than you think.

According to the article, “Prolonged sitting has been shown to disrupt metabolic function resulting in increased plasma triglyceride levels, decreased levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and decreased insulin sensitivity.”

While there may not be much we can do about changing they way we work, the article did offer some helpful tools people can use to stay more active in the workplace:

.     Standing desks- some are even able to adjust to sitting and standing heights

.     Take an office walk every few hours to get your heart rate up and blood pumping.

.     Yes, a treadmill desk actually exists so you can type and walk simultaneously. —

.     Yoga ball chairs are a great way to engage your core as you work

.     Consider proposing active meetings. Instead of a conference room, suggest a walk around the office or outside to get moving, talking and thinking.



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Filed under Spider Veins, Varicose Veins, Vascular Health

What Is Vasculitis?

Vasculitis is an inflammation of your blood vessels. It can cause changes in the walls of blood vessels, such as thickening, weakening, narrowing and scarring. Some forms of vasculitis can be so severe that the tissues and organs don’t get enough blood resulting in organ damage and even death.

The symptoms of vasculitis can vary depending on which blood vessels are affected. However, most people with vasculitis experience fever, fatigue, weight loss, muscle and joint pain, loss of appetite and nerve problems such as numbness or weakness.

If you are concerned that you may be suffering from vasculitis, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. If your doctor suspects that you have vasculitis, you may be referred to a specialist.

Visit www.RenoVeinClinic.com or call us at (775) 329-3100 to learn more about vein disorders.

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Types of Blood Vessels

Blood vessels are part of the circulatory system that transports blood throughout the body. There are three major types of blood vessels.

1. Arteries

Arteries carry blood away from the heart. Both arteries and veins have the same structure with three layers: tunica intima, tunica media, and tunica adventitia. The largest artery is the aorta, which carries blood out of the heart.

2. Capillaries

Capillaries enable the exchange of water and chemicals between the blood and tissues. Capillaries consist of a layer of endothelium and occasional connective tissue. Capillaries are the smallest blood vessels.

3. Veins

Veins carry blood from the capillaries back toward the heart. Veins are either arterial or venous, depending on whether the blood in it is flowing away from (arterial) or toward (venous) the heart. Most veins carry deoxygenated blood from the tissues back to the heart except for the pulmonary and umbilical veins. Veins are classified in a number of ways. Superficial veins are those that are close to the surface of the body and have no corresponding arteries. Deep veins are deeper in the body and have corresponding arteries. Pulmonary veins are a set of veins that deliver oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart. Systemic veins drain the tissues of the body and deliver deoxygenated blood to the heart.

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