The Vascular Unit at Circle Reading Hospital

Our vascular unit provides accurate diagnosis, management and surgical treatment of disorders of the veins and arteries.

Our state-of-the-art vascular unit provides the relaxing space needed for medical consultations, diagnostic tests and treatment. Our vascular department draws on the experience of leading consultants, who are able to deliver the breadth of medical management needed within this specialty. Should it be necessary, they can liaise with Circle’s expert cardiologists for further opinion as needed. This approach to care leads to the very best clinical outcomes for our patients.

Our expert approach to providing vascular services means that your problems will be clearly listened to. We want to ensure you receive the most suitable investigations for any health concerns, and we strive to give our patients a unique understanding of their condition, management options and full control over their condition with follow-up appointments scheduled to monitor relevant disease markers.

Vascular medicine includes the non-surgical and surgical branches of medicine which diagnose, manage and treat disorders of the veins and arteries.

Although vascular medicine treats conditions such as varicose veins and also monitors and treats weaknesses in blood vessels called aneurysms, much of vascular medicine deals with problems related to a process known as atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis causes a narrowing of the arteries. Eventually it leads to constriction in the arteries, and in severe cases can block blood flow through certain vessels. Caused by the body laying down fatty plaques on the inside of the blood vessels, when this process occurs over many years these plaques may build up and harden the wall of the arteries.

The body is able to adapt to a reduction in blood flow through certain arteries up to a point. However, when atherosclerosis becomes severe and/ or affects many vessels supplying a particular body part, the muscles or organs affected may start to demonstrate symptoms. Most commonly, symptoms of atherosclerosis affect the brain, heart or legs.

Vascular conditions can be caused by many factors including genetic factors, lifestyle factors including diet and exercise habits as well as other health conditions, such as diabetes. The main cause of developing vascular disease remains smoking.

Vascular units will use a range of tests including physical examination, vascular pressure tests and imaging to accurately diagnose patient’s symptoms. Treatments will often include a combination of non-invasive solutions such as lifestyle management, drug management and possibly invasive/interventional procedures.

Initial consultation

Our expert vascular surgeons will initially take a thorough history to gain a comprehensive understanding of your symptoms. In addition, , our consultants will also take in to account any underlying risk factors for developing certain vascular disorders. An extensive evaluation of your own medical history and any familial medical history will be sought, both of which can be helpful in building an accurate diagnosis and developing risk profiles for certain vascular conditions.

The most appropriate investigations will be requested depending on the exact information gained during your consultation.

State-of-the-art diagnostics available for you

Following your initial consultation our expert vascular consultants may request several diagnostics tests. Common vascular tests include:

  • Examination of the pulses
  • Comparing blood pressure in the arm and ankle (ankle brachial pressure index)
  • Duplex ultrasound (to diagnose or monitor aneurysms and assess blood flow)
  • Specialist CT or MRI scans (which may be taken with the use of contrast dye) to assess the blood flow through particular vessels

An invasive test known as angiography may also be considered for some patients. Used when examining a possible arterial blockage, it is performed by inserting a catheter into one of the arteries in the leg or arm and carefully feeding the catheter to the artery to be examined using specialised X-ray imaging for guidance. Specialist dye is then injected to allow any signs of blockage to be observed on an external screen.

The right treatment for you, always

In the event of peripheral vascular disease and other circulatory disorders, in most cases the initial treatment will involve lifestyle management changes and pharmacological treatment including specialist medicines to help to reduce blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.

If a significant blockage is found in an artery on angiography, we may offer an angioplasty procedure. This is a treatment which can release the blockage by using an inflatable balloon to stretch the narrowed artery open, and then maintaining this benefit by inserting a small stent to prevent further narrowing. In cases of severe arterial blockage, our vascular surgeons may offer an arterial bypass operation using a graft.

The correct treatment at the right time will be offered when treating weaknesses in the wall of arteries, known as aneurysms. This condition can be dangerous due to the possibility of the aneurysm bursting. Careful monitoring will be offered when aneurysms are at a safe size, but elective surgical repair will be offered once an aneurysm increases in size past an unsafe point. 

For patients with painful or unsightly varicose veins, laser or radiofrequency ablation or surgical removal of the affected veins can be considered.

Circle Heath’s cardiology unit is able to draw on the experience of a number of the UK’s leading vascular consultants. This enables our unit to offer the full spectrum of diagnostics and treatments needed to monitor and treat vascular disease. Furthermore, our hospitals are able to offer appointments at short notice and with flexible, convenient times with leading experts.

Relevant diagnostic procedures can be booked immediately following your initial consultation, and our comprehensive diagnostics utilise the very latest in imaging and interventional technology.

Peace of mind for you

We appreciate that undergoing diagnostic interventions and treatment for cardiac disease can be a stressful. Circle Health plans and carries out thousands of appointments and medical interventions each week. Using our experience, we have developed an excellence in both clinical and non-clinical  care, in order to relieve your worries and allow streamlined patient journeys from appointments to diagnostics, treatments and any onward referrals to other specialties.

Vascular treatment services include lifestyle management, specialist medication and invasive interventions such as angioplasty, with no waiting list. To support our comprehensive and holistic treatment approach for our patients,  our healthcare professionals have a wealth of experience in helping our patients make lifestyle adjustments around weight management, nutrition and exercise levels.

These include specialist dieticians, physiotherapists and exercise physiologists, all of whom can provide much needed guidance, support and monitoring throughout your care with our vascular unit.

Follow-up appointments will also be regularly scheduled with your leading vascular consultant to monitor signs of disease processes, to ensure that management options are reviewed and modified as needed.

Not only is our vascular clinical care second to none, but your treatment will be conducted in a modern, clean facility which you are able to feel comfortable in throughout your treatment.

To arrange your consultation with an experienced vascular surgeon, contact our friendly team today who will be delighted to help.

Fast track your treatment

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Fast track your treatment

Just enter your details below and we'll ring you to provide a quote or answer your questions. We will use your personal information to process your enquiry and contact you with relevant information. For further information, please see our website privacy policy.

0118 922 6888

Circle Reading Hospital, 100 Drake Way, Reading, RG2 0NE

Good

Overall rating 16th November 2016