Patient Education

Mid-Michigan Heart & Vascular Center would like to be your partner in health care. Feel free to ask your questions and share your concerns with us. We will work with you to develop a wellness program for the care and treatment you need.

We welcome you to our practice and look forward to caring for you.

Mid-Michigan Heart & Vascular Center provides a full range of medical services including the following:


Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease, also known as PAD, is a common vascular condition involving a buildup of plaque within the peripheral arteries of the limbs, usually the legs and feet. Plaque is an accumulation of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances in the blood. The buildup of plaque can severely narrow or block the arteries and limit the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the body. PAD may be a symptom of atherosclerosis, a specific form of arteriosclerosis, which leads to a more widespread occurrence of plaque buildup in arteries. ...


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Vascular Pain

Vascular pain is a serious medical condition affecting millions of people in the United States each year. Such pain may be chronic, acute or sub-acute and may range in severity from mild to debilitating. The cause of the pain is not always clear, although it may often result from vascular abnormalities in which blood vessels do not function properly and blood flow is impeded. When this happens, tissues, organs or nerves in the area may be adversely affected. When vascular pain occurs in the legs, it is called claudication. ...


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Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) refers to the consistent inability to achieve or maintain an erection. For an erection to occur, a specific sequence of event needs to take place, allowing blood to enter the penis while restricting the outflow of blood. The pressure created by this "trapped" blood is what maintains an erection. If there is a consistent breakdown in any steps in the sequence, erectile dysfunction is the result. Erectile dysfunction may occur at any age, however, the occurrence of ED is increasingly common as a man ages. However, it should not be considered a natural part of aging. ...


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Transient Ischemic Attack

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) occurs when the blood flow to the brain stops for a brief period of time. A TIA is a stroke-like event caused by improper blood flow in the carotid artery. The carotid artery is located in the neck and it carries blood from the heart to the brain. When blood flow is disrupted or blocked within these arteries, stroke-like symptoms may occur. Symptoms of a TIA are similar to those of a stroke, but they do not last as long, as the blockage within the artery may break-up or dissolve. In some individuals, a transient ischemic attack may be a warning sign that a stroke may occur in the future. ...


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Aortic Aneurysm

An aneurysm is a bulge in the artery wall. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen from the heart to other parts of the body. Arteries may become weakened by a condition called atherosclerosis, which is the hardening and narrowing of the arteries due to the buildup of plaque. Smoking and high blood pressure also damage and weaken the walls of the aorta, possibly leading to an aortic aneurysm. A family history and certain genetic conditions may put some people at risk for developing an aortic aneurysm. ...


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Aortic Dissection

An aortic dissection occurs when the inner wall of the aorta tears, creating two channels: one in which blood continues to flow and another in which its flow is stopped. The aorta is the major artery that brings blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The danger of the dissection is that the dysfunctional channel may enlarge, creating pressure on the functional channel and reducing blood flow, possibly causing a ballooning of the large blood vessel. Such an abnormal ballooning is known as an aneurysm. If an aneurysm ruptures, the resulting hemorrhage is life-threatening. ...


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Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a condition that involves a gradual buildup of fats and cholesterol in the arteries. This is caused by fatty materials that collect along the artery walls and harden into a substance called plaque. This syndrome may affect any arterial blood vessel in the body, but is most commonly associated with the coronary arteries. As the plaque builds upon itself, it slowly narrows the diameter of the artery, increasing blood pressure and contributing to other cardiovascular disorders. Atherosclerosis is a type of arteriosclerosis although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. ...


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Carotid Angioplasty with Stent Placement

Carotid angioplasty and stent placement is a minimally invasive procedure performed to open blocked arteries and improve blood flow. During the procedure, the surgeon will permanently place a stent to keep the artery open, preventing or treating a stroke. The carotid arteries are located on each side of the neck and are the arteries responsible for blood flow to the brain. ...


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Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot, also known as a thrombus, forms in a vein deep within the body. Such clots most frequently form in the legs, but may occur in other parts of the body. Blood clots can be caused by anything that prevents the blood from circulating normally or clotting properly. Deep vein thrombosis may be caused by extended periods of inactivity; in some cases it may be the result of staying in bed during a long hospital stay or sitting for a long-period of time on an airplane flight. An injury to a vein or certain medical conditions may also cause a blood clot to form. DVT is a serious condition that requires medical treatment, as a blood clot may travel to the blood vessels of the lungs, heart or brain, causing serious complications which can be fatal. ...


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Endovenous Laser Ablation

Endovenous laser ablation, also known as EVLA, is a minimally invasive alternative to the traditional ligation and stripping treatment of varicose veins. Varicose veins are a common medical condition involving diseased veins, usually in the leg. As blood pools in the legs, the walls of the veins distend, until the veins appear raised and twisted under the skin. For some individuals, varicose veins present only a cosmetic problem. If the condition worsens, however, varicose veins can become painful and even dangerous and medical intervention may become necessary. ...


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Foam Sclerotherapy

Foam sclerotherapy is a medical procedure used to treat varicose veins. Varicose veins result from weakened valves which keep the veins from functioning properly and allow blood to pool in the legs. Varicose veins may be not only unattractive but medically problematic. During foam sclerotherapy, a sclerosant solution is injected into the affected veins, causing their eventual collapse. These damaged veins will be absorbed by the body and blood flow will naturally be rerouted through other, healthy veins. ...


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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a treatment method that uses highly pressurized oxygen to speed up healing of certain injuries, infections and disease conditions. This treatment has been FDA-approved for use in patients with several conditions, including carbon monoxide poisoning and severe burns, but has also proven effective in off-label treatments in numerous systems of the body. ...


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Kawasaki Disease

Kawasaki disease is a rare condition in children that causes the arterial walls, including those of the coronary arteries, to become inflamed. The disease is not contagious and cannot be prevented. Kawasaki disease mainly affects children younger than 5 years of age, and occurs more frequently in boys than girls. The disease is seen more in children of Japanese or Korean descent, but can occur in children of any racial or ethnic group. ...


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Varicose Veins

Varicose veins, which appear as unsightly bulges, usually on the legs, may be a medical, as well as cosmetic, problem. Varicose veins affect both men and women. According to the The National Institutes of Health, a quarter of patients who suffer from this condition are men. More women seek help for this disorder than men not only because more women suffer from them, but because in our culture women expose their legs more frequently to public view. Regardless of gender, however, varicose veins can be a serious problem requiring medical intervention. ...


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Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

An aneurysm is a localized, balloon-like expansion in a blood vessel caused by weak vessel walls. The aorta is the artery that carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the legs. When a bulge occurs in the abdominal section of the aorta, between the diaphragm and the legs, it is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Most aortic aneurysms occur in the abdomen, and most abdominal aortic aneurysms occur beneath the kidneys and may continue into the iliac, or leg, arteries. ...


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Pulmonary Embolism

A pulmonary embolism is a blockage of one or more arteries in the lungs. It is most often caused by a blood clot that traveled to the lungs from another part of the body. Blood clots usually form in the veins of the legs or arms, but can dislodge and travel through the bloodstream to the lungs. While a pulmonary embolism is not usually fatal, it is a complication of deep vein thrombosis and can be life threatening. ...


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Sclerotherapy

Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive medical procedure used to treat varicose and spider veins, most commonly found on the legs, by collapsing them through the use of a solvent. Sclerotherapy has been used on patients since the 1930s with great success, producing increasingly effective medical, as well as cosmetic, results. ...


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Spider Veins

Spider veins (telangiectasias) are small, thin blood vessels visible beneath the skin. They usually develop on the face or legs, and may look like a series of thin tree branches or strands of a spider web. Although most spider veins are only a cosmetic issue, for some people they can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as aching, burning, swelling and leg-cramping. ...


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Takayasu's Arteritis

Takayasu's arteritis is a rare form of vasculitis, which is a series of conditions linked to inflamed blood vessels. In this particular form, the inflammation causes damage to the aorta, the artery responsible for bringing blood from the heart to the rest of the body.

Takayasu's arteritis mainly affects females under the age of 40 years. The cause of the disease has not yet been determined but is considered to be an autoimmune disorder. ...


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Thrombophlebitis

Thrombophlebitis is a swelling of a vein caused by a clot. It usually occurs in the leg, though it may rarely occur in the arm or neck. When the affected vein is near the surface of the skin, the condition is called superficial thrombophlebitis. When it occurs deep within a muscle, it is known as deep vein thrombosis and is much more dangerous. Thrombophlebitis may develop as a result of prolonged inactivity, such as a lengthy period of bed rest or extended travel in a car or plane. The risk for thrombophlebitis is diminished by limiting periods spent sitting or standing in one place. ...


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Vasculitis

Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels. This condition occurs when the immune system attacks a blood vessel, causing it to narrow and possibly close off. If this happens, the affected blood vessel stretches and weakens, resulting in a bulge known as an aneurysm. Since vasculitis may disrupt the flow of blood to any part of the body, it can lead to tissue and organ damage and may be life-threatening. ...


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Varicose Veins FAQs

Varicose veins are enlarged veins near the surface of the skin which may be troubling both cosmetically and medically. They occur most frequently in the legs, but may exist elsewhere in the body. Following are some of the questions frequently asked by patients who suffer with varicose veins. ...


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Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency is a chronic condition that involves a backwards flow of blood though the veins in the leg as a result of damaged valves. This back flow is called venous reflux. When blood cannot flow efficiently back to the heart, it begins to pool in the leg. Left untreated, venous insufficiency can lead to progressive vascular disease, causing pain, swelling, skin changes and eventual tissue breakdown. Chronic venous insufficiency is a long-term condition. It occurs because a vein is partly blocked, or blood is leaking around the valves. ...


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Ambulatory Phlebectomy

An ambulatory phlebectomy, also called a microphlebectomy or stab phlebectomy, is an outpatient procedure performed to remove spider and varicose veins through small, slit-like incisions in the skin. When varicose veins near the surface of the skin are too large to treat with sclerotherapy and too small to treat with laser ablation, microphlebectomy is the preferred treatment. Since veins are extremely collapsible, even the largest affected veins can often be removed through tiny incisions using the ambulatory phlebectomy procedure. This minimally invasive treatment does not require sutures or general anesthesia and can easily be performed in the doctor's office with minimal downtime. Ambulatory phlebectomy involves less pain and fewer risks than traditional surgical treatment. ...


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Venous Thrombectomy

Venous thrombectomy is the surgical removal of a clot within a large vein. This type of clot most often develops as a complication of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a common but serious condition in which a clot develops in a vein deep within the body. DVT causes vein damage, resulting in impeded blood flow. Many patients with DVT are asymptomatic, but if the clot detaches and travels to the lungs, it may lead to pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal condition. A venous thrombectomy is generally viewed as a treatment of last resort, sometimes performed when the patient is already experiencing a pulmonary embolism. ...


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Ankle-Brachial Index

The ankle-brachial index (ABI) is a noninvasive diagnostic test used to determine an individual's risk for peripheral artery disease, or PAD. It can also help determine the severity or progress of the disease if it has already been diagnosed. This test is done by comparing the blood pressure in the ankle with the blood pressure in the arm. Since PAD is a condition that involves a narrowing or blockage of arteries in the leg, a low ankle-brachial index may indicate narrowed arteries in the legs. The ankle-brachial index is an important test since PAD is a dangerous condition which can lead to heart attack or stroke. ...


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