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The Vascular System and Diseases

by | Jun 18, 2024

Discover the essentials of the vascular system, including its vital functions and structure, and explore common vascular diseases. Learn about conditions such as atherosclerosis, aneurysms, and varicose veins.

yoga woman with healthy body

The Vascular System

The vascular system, also called the circulatory system, is made up of vessels that carry blood throughout the body. These blood vessels are known as the arteries, the veins, and the capillaries. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to the body while veins carry blood from the body back into the heart. Finally, capillaries are blood vessels located between arteries and veins that distribute oxygenated blood throughout the body. As the heart pumps, oxygen-rich blood leaves through the arteries. The arteries branch off into smaller and smaller tubes. The smallest tubes are called capillaries. Blood moves through the capillaries, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the cells. Next, waste matter from the cells goes through the capillaries. Finally, blood leaves the capillaries and goes through the veins, which travel back to the heart. 

The vascular system is closely connected to other systems in the body:

  • The respiratory system
  • The digestive system
  • The kidney and urinary system

Having a Balanced Body

Simply put, the vascular system plays a crucial role in maintaining homeostasis and supporting life functions within the body. Homeostasis in the vascular system refers to the regulation and maintenance of stable internal conditions within the circulatory system, ensuring that tissues and organs receive a consistent supply of blood, oxygen, and nutrients, while waste products are efficiently removed. It also keeps the body balanced to regulate temperature and blood pressure, support the immune system, and distribute hormones, ensuring everything works smoothly and stays healthy.

  • Blood Pressure Regulation: The vascular system adjusts the diameter of blood vessels to maintain optimal blood pressure, ensuring sufficient blood flow to all body parts.

  • Temperature Control: Blood vessels constrict or dilate to regulate body temperature, releasing or retaining heat as needed. Blood flow helps control body temperature. 

  • Fluid Balance: The vascular system helps balance fluid levels by controlling the distribution of water and electrolytes between blood and tissues.

  • Nutrient and Waste Exchange: Capillaries facilitate the exchange of nutrients and waste products between blood and tissues, maintaining cellular function. It helps remove waste products and transport nutrients to the body. 

  • Clotting Mechanism: The vascular system helps prevent excessive bleeding and initiates healing by forming clots at injury sites.

Vascular Disease

Sometimes, disease interferes with the vascular system’s ability to do its job properly. Some potential causes include the following:

  • Blood clots: A blood vessel may be blocked by a tiny mass of debris that flows through the bloodstream known as an embolus. They can also be blocked by a thrombus.
  • Inflammation: Inflammation of the blood vessels is called vasculitis, which often leads to a narrowing and blockage of the blood vessels.
  • Injury: Getting hurt can lead to the blood vessels getting inflamed or infected.
  • Genetics: Some vascular system conditions are inherited such as genetics in the role of varicose veins.

 

Effects of Vascular Disease

Since the vascular system has the crucial functions of delivering blood throughout the body and helping deal with waste, vascular disease is a serious matter. Effects include heart attacks, chest pain, stroke, and an aortic aneurysm.  Since the circulatory system is also connected to other body systems, vascular disease can affect the lungs and kidneys as well as the heart. Some common diseases caused by vascular disease include coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral arterial disease.

 

Common Vascular Conditions

  • Atherosclerosis: Atherosclerosis is the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Plaque consists of fatty cholesterol, cell waste, calcium, and fibrin. This buildup narrows the arteries, lessening or even blocking blood flow to other parts of the body.
  • Hypertension: More commonly referred to as high blood pressure, hypertension usually has no symptoms but can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health conditions.
  • Varicose Veins: Varicose veins are swollen, enlarged veins that develop when valves inside the veins weaken, causing blood to pool and expand inside the veins. A hemorrhoid is a type of varicose vein.
  • Aneurysm: An aortic aneurysm is a bulge that occurs in the wall of the aorta, the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the body. The aneurysm itself is not harmful but when it ruptures, it can cause severe internal bleeding that is often fatal.
  • Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD): Peripheral Artery Disease is one of the most common forms of Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD). Plaque accumulates on the inner walls of blood vessels, causing them to narrow. PAD can affect anywhere in the body but typically affects arteries in the legs.

 

Maintaining a Healthy Vascular System

Prevent these diseases by maintaining a healthy vascular system to begin with. A healthy diet and exercise are essential. Other good habits include getting proper sleep, flossing daily, avoiding secondhand smoke, and not staying seated for too long.

 

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you are experiencing symptoms of vascular disease, seek medical attention for proper treatment. Some symptoms to look out for include:

  • Unexplained leg pain
  • Swelling in the feet and legs that comes and goes, or that does not get better with time
  • Sudden weakness or numbness only affecting one side of the body
  • Slurring of speech
  • Sudden blindness in one eye
  • Foot sores that will not heal

 

Contact Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic in Singapore

Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic was founded by Dr. Manish Taneja, our vascular specialist in Singapore. With almost 20 years of experience, Dr. Manish has special expertise in treating complex vascular and nonvascular disorders. He has special interest in treating brain aneurysms, strokes, venous diseases, and vascular malformations. Learn how this intricate network keeps you thriving every day and how our clinic can help you on your journey towards optimal vascular health. Contact us for more information.

Common Vascular Diagnostic Tests

Discover essential vascular diagnostic tests at Singapore’s Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic. Learn about advanced procedures to accurately diagnose and assess vascular conditions.

Consult a Vascular Specialist in Singapore

 

From family and internal medicine to specialist, Dr. Manish Taneja is the best in the field. As a vascular and interventional radiology specialist, Dr Manish Taneja looks after peripheral vascular diseases, peripheral arterial diseases, aneurysms, dialysis interventions, and venous diseases. He is also competent in performing newer endovascular procedures such as uterine artery embolization, prostate artery embolization, genicular artery embolization, and erectile dysfunction interventions.

Dr. Manish Taneja also has extensive experience in performing all vascular interventions, non-vascular interventions and interventional oncology procedures.

Dr. Manish Taneja performing surgery

Other Health Conditions

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is your “go-to” facility for various conditions and treatments. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our vascular specialist, contact us. You can also call us at (+65) 6904 8084 for a consultation.