Southern Ocean Medical Center's Vascular Center Makes Managing Vascular Health More Convenient NJ.com You are signed in as Edit Public Profile Sign Out Email newsletters The Star-Ledger The Times of Trenton The Jersey Journal South Jersey Times Hunterdon County Democrat >SPONSOR CONTENT Southern Ocean Medical Center's Vascular Center makes managing vascular health more convenient Updated November 24, 2017 at 3:05 PM; Posted November 24, 2017 at 2:40 PM By Special to NJ.com >The most common effects of vascular disease are heart attack, stroke and loss of limb or use of limb (peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 health problem in the U.S. today and more than half of Americans will die from complications related to it. The Vascular Center at Southern Ocean Medical Center provides advanced care and treatment from board-certified, fellowship trained specialists who use the latest techniques to manage the debilitating complications that can afflict many patients. Drs. Jeffrey C. Hager and Matthew S. Samra recently spoke with NJ Advance Media about the center. Q: What is vascular disease? A: Atherosclerosis is the most common cause of vascular disease. It's a slow, progressive buildup of plaque that thickens and narrows the arteries and veins, causing a decrease of blood or complete blocking of blood flow to organs and other body tissues and structures. Q: What are the effects of vascular disease? >Jeffrey C. Hager, D.O. FACOS, vascular surgery A: The most common effects are: heart attack, stroke and loss of limb or use of limb (peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The specialists at the Southern Ocean Medical Center's Vascular Center can treat and manage all vascular diseases including, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), peripheral vascular disease (PVD), abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), deep vein thrombosis (DVT), lymphedema, carotid artery disease and varicose and spider veins. Q: What are the risk factors for vascular disease? A: Risk factors linked with major vascular conditions are: diabetes, high level of fats in the blood such as cholesterol and triglycerides, smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, lack of exercise and a diet high in saturated fat. Although these factors may increase risk, they do not necessarily cause the disease. People may have the disease and have no known risk factors. Knowing the risk factors can help guide individuals to take appropriate actions, such as changing some behaviors and being clinically monitored by a doctor or specialist. Q: What is peripheral arterial disease (PAD)? A: Millions of Americans are living with this condition, which is caused by hardening of the arteries in the legs and feet. One symptom of PAD is leg pain when walking. Patients who experience this should tell their physician. The doctor may order a painless, noninvasive test to measure blood pressure in the ankles. Q: What is deep vein thrombosis (DVT)? >Matthew S. Samra, D.O. FACOS, vascular surgery Special to NJ.com A: Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot, or thrombus, in a deep vein. They are most common in the leg, but may develop in the arm or other part of the body. DVT may happen without symptoms, however, common symptoms can include pain, swelling and redness in the leg, arm or other area. "If you're experiencing these symptoms, it's important to make an appointment at the Vascular Center to diagnose your condition," Dr. Samra said. "If part of the clot breaks off and travels to the lungs (called pulmonary embolus PE) it can lead to death." Symptoms of PE may include: chest pain, trouble breathing and coughing (may cough up blood). If an individual is experiencing these symptoms, call 911 or get emergency help. Q. What is the difference between spider and varicose veins? A: Varicose veins are larger blood vessels that have become swollen or twisted. They appear dark blue and stick out from the skin like raised tunnels across thighs and calves. Varicose veins may cause people to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed and can lead to serious medical issues. In fact, 80 percent of chronic wound patients have vein disease as the primary cause. They should be evaluated and managed by vascular specialists to avoid the long term complications of swelling, skin staining and ulceration. Spider veins, a milder type of varicose veins, are smaller than varicose veins and often look like a spider web. They may be red, purple or blue and most often appear on the legs or face. While they are usually considered cosmetic, they can lead to spontaneous bleeding if not taken care of. Dr. Hager offers these lifestyle changes that may prevent or stop varicose and spider veins from getting worse: Get plenty of exercise, and lose any extra weight If an individual stands or sits for long periods, he or she should take frequent breaks If an individual is pregnant, she should try to sleep on their left side rather than their back Quit smoking Don't wear tight clothing Compression therapy should be worn on a daily basis To learn more about sophisticated cardiovascular care, visit SouthernOceanMedicalCenter.com/AdvancedCare. For more news on health care and services, and a question and answer series from healthcare professionals, click here.