Treating Vascular Disease

At Avita Health System our vascular specialists diagnose and treat conditions affecting your veins and arteries. With 24/7 coverage at Bucyrus, Galion, and Ontario Hospitals, and the only DVT Clinic in the region, our experts help improve vein-related conditions using the least invasive techniques possible. Whether through lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, medication, or minimally-invasive procedures, our vascular experts provide exceptional care with an individualized treatment plan to help improve your quality of life.

Vascular disease is often caused by atherosclerosis – the buildup of plaque within the artery walls which narrows the blood vessel and restricts blood flow. The plaque can rupture, triggering a blood clot which blocks blood flow to a specific part of your body, such as your heart, causing a heart attack. It can also travel to other parts of your body blocking blood flow to essential organs. Even though atherosclerosis is considered a heart problem, it can affect arteries anywhere in your body and cause numerous vascular problems.

Signs and Symptoms of Vascular Disease

There are several different kinds of vascular disease. Here is a list of conditions treated at Avita and what symptoms to look out for.

Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease occurs when blood flow to your limbs is restricted due to blood clots and can lead to heart attack or stroke. There are typically no symptoms, however, people who do present symptoms tend to experience pain in the thigh, calf, or buttocks while walking or exercising. Additional symptoms may include:

  • Pale or bluish skin
  • Lack of leg hair or toenail growth
  • Sores on legs, feet, or toes that struggle to heal
  • Weak pulses in legs and feet
  • Gangrene
  • Numbness, weakness, or heaviness in muscles
  • Burning or aching pain at rest
  • Restricted mobility
  • Varicose veins

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

An abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs when an aneurysm, a bulged and weakened area in the wall of the blood vessel, travels through the abdomen. 75% of these aneurysms have no symptoms, giving it the name “silent killer.” However, some common symptoms, if present, include:

  • Pain in the abdomen, chest, lower back, or groin
  • Sudden, severe pain in the back or abdomen – this could be a sign the aneurysm is about to rupture and you should seek emergency medical attention immediately

Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid artery disease occurs when plaque builds up and blocks blood flow in the blood vessels to the brain, increasing your risk of stroke. Carotid artery disease often does not have symptoms until it’s serious enough to cause a stroke.


A stroke occurs when blood supply to part of the brain is reduced, preventing brain tissue from receiving oxygen. Signs and symptoms of a stroke include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face or limbs, often only on one side of the body
  • Sudden trouble speaking
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden dizziness or loss of balance
  • Sudden, severe headache

Pulmonary Embolism

A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot from a deep vein in the body travels to the lungs. Symptoms include:

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Cough, possibly bloody

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein in the body, usually in the legs. Symptoms include:

  • Swelling in the affected leg
  • Pain in the affected leg
  • Redness or discolored skin on the leg
  • Warm feeling in the affected leg

Varicose Veins

Vericose veins are twisted, enlarged veins, most commonly found in the legs. They are typically a cosmetic issue for most people, but can be painful for others or lead to more serious problems. Signs of varicose veins include:

  • Veins that are dark purple or blue
  • Veins that are twisted and bulging


Lymphedema is swelling that occurs in one arm or leg, sometime both arms or legs, from the removal or damage to your lymph nodes. Symptoms, occurring in the affected limb, include:

  • Swelling in your arm or leg including fingers or toes
  • Heaviness or tightness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Discomfort or aching
  • Recurring infections
  • Hardening or thickening of the skin (fibrosis)

Risk Factors

For many people suffering from vascular disease, symptoms are not always present, which makes it difficult to know when something is wrong. That’s why it’s important to understand and limit your risk factors for developing atherosclerosis, a common cause of vascular disease. Risk factors that can increase your risk of developing atherosclerosis, include:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • High saturated fat diet

Tests & Procedures

Vascular Tests

Vascular testing allows your doctor to make an accurate diagnosis to provide the appropriate care needed. Common vascular tests performed at Avita include:

  • Angiography
  • Computerized Tomography (CT) scan
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Ultrasound
  • X-rays

Vascular Surgery & Endovascular Procedures

Our physicians will create a customized treatment plan tailored to your vascular needs which may include traditional open surgery or a minimally-invasive procedure, such as:

  • Angioplasty
  • Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter placement
  • Thrombectomy (Blood clot removal)
  • Peripheral Vascular Surgery
  • Carotid Artery Endarterectomy & Stenting
  • Aorta Surgery
  • Dialysis Fistula
  • Amputation