The month of June is Men’s Health Month and in New Zealand Men’s Health Week is the 11th – 17th of June. During this time men are encouraged to pay special attention to their health. Health exams should be done on a regular basis, but this month is the perfect time to make an appointment for an annual check-up with your GP and Vascular Health Check.
Vascular disease in men and women is a lesser known health condition that requires the same diligent watchfulness as other more prominent health concerns. The most important thing for patients to understand about vascular health is that it is incredibly under-recognized but very easy to diagnose.
What exactly is vascular health? Put simply, vascular health relates to all the blood vessels (veins and arteries) in your body except for the coronary vessels. A vascular surgeon is an expert at assessing and treating problems with these vessels. Throughout our website we discuss the different types of vascular abnormalities you may be experiencing: These include:
- Painful cramping in your hip, thigh or calf – after walking or climbing stairs
- Coldness in your lower leg or feet
- Injuries that won’t heal in your feet
- Shiny skin on your legs
- Weak or no pulses in your legs or feet
- Erectile dysfunction in men
What are the risk factors?
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Family history
- Increasing age
- High homocysteine
Why is it important to diagnose vascular disease early? Vascular disease is strongly associated with the above health concerns, heart attacks and morbidity. Treatment, if caught early does not mean invasive interventions. There are a variety of medical therapies to slow down or treat the symptoms.
There are also lifestyle changes you can make. These include:
- Quitting smoking
- Controlling diabetes
- Controlling your blood pressure
- Controlling your cholesterol
- Healthy diet
How is vascular disease diagnosed? Each patient’s risk factors and or symptoms are different. Our surgeons will take a full history during your initial consultation. Tests are decided from this history and initial screening tests. These are:
- Physical examination
- Blood tests
Can I be screened if I have risk factors but no symptoms?
Yes. Anyone with two or more vascular health risk factors or over the age of 70 should be screened.
When should I see a SVH surgeon?
- Your GP can refer you or we do accept patients directly referring themselves.
- If you have pain or numbness or any other symptoms don’t ignore them as part of normal aging.
What will happen when I have booked to see a SVH surgeon?
- We have developed a 3 stage arterial pathway which includes
- Consultation – with one of our surgeons
- Diagnosis – We will book you for the appropriate scan(s) at our SVH ultrasound lab.
- Treatment – recommendations and a plan will be made with you after diagnosis is completed.
Our Mission is to support the community to improve their wellbeing by empowering people to take control of their health. Contact us today.