Vascular Disease

Vascular disease describes many conditions that affect the circulatory system, including the arteries that carry blood away from the heart and the veins that return blood to the heart. Circulation of blood through the arteries is reduced by a buildup of plaque — fatty deposits inside these vessels. Poor circulation in any part of the body puts you at greater risk for heart attack or stroke. However, with early diagnosis and treatment, you could experience better mobility and a longer, more active life.

Vascular disease 

Common types of vascular disease include:

  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Aneurysm
  • Peripheral venous disease
  • Varicose veins
  • Blood clots in the veins
  • Renal artery disease
  • Raynaud’s disease or syndrome
  • Buerger’s disease

The National Institutes of Health estimates that one in every 20 Americans over age

50 has peripheral artery disease, the most common type of vascular disease.

Signs and Symptoms

The typical symptoms of vascular disease include:

  • Fatigue, tiredness when walking or climbing
  • Heaviness or pain in the arms or legs during activity
  • Pain in the finger, hand, foot or leg while at rest
  • Sores or wounds that heal slowly
  • Color changes in the skin of arms or legs, including pale or blue skin
  • Poor nail growth and decreased hair growth, or hair loss on toes and legs
  • A cooler temperature in one arm or leg

If appropriate, your physician will refer you to the Vascular Clinic at Parkview Heart Institute.

The Vascular Clinic at Parkview Heart Institute

Individuals are referred to the Vascular Clinic at Parkview Heart Institute because a physician has determined, or suspects, a diagnosis of vascular disease. Care at the clinic is under the medical direction of interventional cardiologists T. Eric White, MD, and Peter Chaille, MD, who both practice with Parkview Physicians Group – Cardiology.

The care team provides:

  • Coordinated care, beginning with an evaluation by an interventional cardiologist. At a bi-weekly case review, results of this evaluation will then be discussed with a cardiovascular surgeon and other members of the clinic team to identify the best treatment for you.
  • Specialized treatment and recovery options, all in one convenient location.
  • Education on medications, diet considerations, smoking cessation and physical activity to strengthen your heart function.
  • Answers to your questions.


The following tests may be performed if your physician believes you have vascular disease:

Non-invasive tests

  • Ultrasound identifies plaque buildup or blockage on the inside of blood vessels
  • CTA, a type of CT scan, creates detailed images of blood vessels
  • MRA, a type of MRI, creates digital images to complement other measurements of blood flow within vessels

Invasive tests

Arteriogram uses a special dye and X-ray to produce images of the arteries to find any blockages

Treatment options

If you have vascular disease, the best treatment for you is determined by the type and severity of the disease. Treatment is identified by three approaches.

Lifestyle changes

  • Quit smoking
  • Lower your vital numbers, including blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels
  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Become physically active
  • Maintain a healthy weight


Medications cannot cure peripheral vascular disease but they can help manage conditions and symptoms that contribute to vascular disease.

Surgery/special procedures

If your condition is advanced, your doctor may discuss improving circulation with a medical procedure such as angioplasty, placement of a stent or by-pass surgery.

The Vascular Clinic at Parkview Heart Institute is located within the Parkview Physicians Group — Cardiology office on the first floor of Parkview Heart Institute. For your convenience, we provide valet parking at this entrance.

Parkview Regional Medical Center campus
Entrance 10
11108 Parkview Circle Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46845
(260) 266-2000 and toll free
(866) HRT-WISE or (866) 478-9473


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