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Vascular Associates Blog


Tips for vascular health

Christi Thompson
Christi Thompson
Christi Thompson's Blog
Everything You  Need to Know About Vascular Disease  & the Summer Heat.png


In South Alabama, summers are hot and those temperatures can last well into the fall. Patients with vascular disease may see their symptoms exacerbated due to the heat. 

How Does the Summer Heat Affect Vascular Disease?

Veins dilate when exposed to high temperatures causing an increase in swelling and stress on the body as it works harder to circulate blood. This can lead to vein damage, discomfort, blood accumulation in the lower legs and skin sensitivity like itching and rashes. 

Additionally, people tend to be more active during the summer when the weather is nice. This can lead to pain in the extremities especially if people overdo it. While the pain may simply be misuse, it could also be a sign of Peripheral Artery Disease. 

What Can You Do to Beat the Summer Heat?

People with vascular disease should follow year-round lifestyle changes including:

  • Staying properly hydrated
  • Maintaining a health weight through diet and exercise
  • Wearing loose fitting clothing and compression socks
  • Cutting out smoking 

More specifically in the summer months, patients should cool down by:

  • Staying in the shade
  • Wearing a hat
  • Enjoying frozen treats
  • Spending time in the air conditioning 
  • Exercising indoors or during times when the weather is cooler like morning or night
  • Hopping in the water
  • Using a handheld fan

The board-certified surgeons at Vascular Associates of South Alabama are highly experienced in treating patients with vascular disease. Since each patient is different, it’s important to schedule an appointment with a vascular expert to determine the best and most appropriate treatment. 

Call us at 251-410-8272 to book an appointment today! 


Phone: 251-410-8272
Fax: 251-410-8273
Email: info@myvasadoc.net
Main Office: 1551 Old Shell Road
Mobile, AL 36604
Hours: Mon - Fri 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM



Vascular Disease Awareness Month What Is Vascular Disease.png

September is Vascular Disease Awareness Month! By the age of 50, 50% of women and 30% of men are affected by a vein disorder. 

What Is Vascular Disease?

Vascular disease is a term used to describe numerous conditions affecting the veins, arteries and small vessels. 

Here are just a few examples of vascular diseases:

  • Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
  • Varicose Veins
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Symptoms can vary depending on the blood vessels affected. Coronary Artery Disease may present symptoms like shortness of breath or chest pain while PAD can cause swelling, pain or weakness in the extremities. Unfortunately, a serious or even life-threatening event may occur before a patient even knows they have vascular disease as sometimes there are no symptoms.

People are more at risk if they have a family history of vascular disease or have the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol
  • History of smoking
  • Unhealthy diet

How Does Vascular Associates of South Alabama Treat Vascular Disease?

At Vascular Associates of South Alabama, their board-certified physicians are experts in treating patients with vascular disease. While some types can be treated with medications and changes in lifestyle, others may need surgery to restore blood flow. With the addition of their first outpatient endovascular lab in Alabama, complex arterial and venous diseases are treated quickly and comfortably. 

If you’re concerned about vascular disease, it’s extremely important to get evaluated. We welcome the opportunity to treat new patients. 

Call us at 251-410-8272 to book an appointment today! 


Phone: 251-410-8272
Fax: 251-410-8273
Email: info@myvasadoc.net
Main Office: 1551 Old Shell Road
Mobile, AL 36604
Hours: Mon - Fri 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM


Everything You Need to Know About Flying with PAD.png

According to the American Heart Association, patients can fly with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) as long as their symptoms are managed. However, this may not be the case for everyone, so always check with your doctor. 

While air travel is relatively safe for PAD patients, it doesn’t come without risk. Flights over four hours require passengers to remain still for long periods of time which can cause blood flow to decrease and increase the chance of a blood clot. This is especially concerning for people with PAD as their arteries are already narrowed and blood flow is more difficult. 

High altitude is also a concern as it affects PAD. Although cabins are pressurized, air may be thin at times and this puts more strain on the heart to pump blood throughout the body.

As a person with PAD, it’s best to be prepared and know the facts. Here are 6 things you can do to make flying safer and more comfortable:

#1: Keep medications readily available

Put your medications in your carry-on instead of your checked luggage. Before leaving the house, make sure to take pictures of your prescriptions and their dosages just in case you lose them.

#2: Stay hydrated

As soon as you get through security, purchase a large bottle of water and drink it. Fill it up before boarding the plane and continue to drink it on the flight. Studies have shown that proper hydration can reduce claudification. To prevent dehydration, avoid alcohol before and during the flight. 

#3: Wear compression socks 

Compression socks help improve blood flow throughout the legs. Talk with your doctor to determine if you need them and what kind. 

#4: Move around at least every 2 hours

Unfortunately, space is quite limited on a flight, but it’s still important to stretch your legs. Get up and use the bathroom. Take a walk up and down the aisle. Keep leg room clear so you can move around more. You can also do this exercise several times in your seat which requires pulling your knees up to your chest and holding them there for 15 seconds. 

#5: Know the symptoms of a blood clot

Get medical help right away if you suspect a blood clot. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Warmth on the affected area

  • Change of color

  • Cramping

  • Trouble breathing

  • Excessive swelling

#6: Avoid excessive salt

Longer flights normally provide meals. This food may have more sodium than you’re normally used to. Be sure to pack healthy, low sodium options in your carry-on. The buildup of excessive sodium can exacerbate PAD symptoms.

Before traveling, please consult with a physician. Vascular Associates of South Alabama is the leading provider of vascular care in South Alabama. We welcome the opportunity to treat you. 

Contact Us!

PHONE: 251-410-8272 
FAX: (251) 410-8273
EMAIL: info@myvasadoc.net


5 Ways to Slow  the Progression  of Peripheral  Artery Disease.png

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) can be a difficult condition to live with as it affects blood flow to the extremities and organs. This illness should never be left untreated as it could lead to life-threatening complications like stroke, amputation, kidney disease and heart attack. 

While there isn’t currently a cure for PAD, the symptoms from the disease can be managed with lifestyle changes or even minimally-invasive procedures. Making these changes can help slow the progression of the disease and its symptoms. Here’s five ways:

#1: Exercise Regularly 

No need to start off by running a marathon… Walking is a perfectly good exercise to reduce the development of PAD symptoms. In fact, studies have found that the severity of PAD symptoms is less when patients engage in regular physical activity. Remember, consistency is key! 

#2: Stop Smoking

Smoking is terrible for one’s health for numerous reasons, but it’s especially troublesome for patients with PAD. When it comes to this disease, smoking increases the risk of complications and death as it constricts the arteries. Upon diagnosis, patients should work with their physician to develop a plan that helps them quit smoking as soon as possible.

#3: Eat Healthy 

A healthy diet is always recommended as it helps with health issues like diabetes and high cholesterol. With PAD, many patients have underlying conditions that are positively affected by a healthier meal plan. Many physicians suggest the Mediterranean diet as it reduces the consumption of dairy and red meat which may contribute to arterial plaque. 

#4: Be Mindful of Alcohol Consumption

Excessive drinking can affect the heart and its ability to pump blood throughout the body. PAD already causes narrowed vessels. Mixed with cardiomyopathy, PAD symptoms may be worsened. The best course of action is to entirely cut out or limit the amount of alcohol consumed. 

#5: Take Care of the Feet

PAD is worsened by diabetes and can worsen diabetic peripheral neuropathy. To prevent ulcers or amputation, it’s important to follow proper foot care like:

  • Treating infections immediately

  • Washing feet regularly and thoroughly

  • Inspecting for injuries

  • Visiting the doctor promptly when something won’t heal

Before making any changes to your lifestyle, please consult with a physician. Vascular Associates of South Alabama is the leading provider of vascular care in South Alabama. We welcome the opportunity to treat you. 

Contact Us!

PHONE: 251-410-8272 
FAX: (251) 410-8273
EMAIL: info@myvasadoc.net



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A vascular surgeon is a highly-trained specialist who treats vascular diseases and provides comprehensive vascular care. Vascular disease is defined as “any condition that affects your circulatory system, or system of blood vessels” by Cleveland Clinic. Types of vascular disease include atherosclerosis, peripheral artery disease, carotid artery disease and pulmonary embolism.

Do they always operate?

While vascular surgeons do perform surgery, they also treat patients using only lifestyle changes and preventative health plans. Some conditions, like Peripheral Artery Disease, can be managed with exercise and a healthy diet. 

Why would I need a vascular surgeon?

Normally, a patient’s primary care doctor will refer them to a vascular surgeon if they’ve been recently diagnosed with vascular disease, present with pain in their legs or are at high risk. Patients with diabetes or who smoke may need to start a relationship and work on slowing the progression of vascular diseases. Some people may skip the general practitioner entirely after an unexpected trip to the hospital that’s related to vascular disease. 

What should I look for in a vascular specialist?

A patient needs a board-certified vascular surgeon who is highly trained in a multitude of innovative vascular treatments and procedures. They should be training on the latest technology and looking for modern care techniques. It’s also beneficial if they have an in-house, endovascular outpatient lab with their own staff.

Why choose Vascular Associates of South Alabama?

Our practice has the technology, team and knowledge to handle all vascular conditions using expert limb salvage services, minimally invasive procedures and preventative health plans. We have Alabama’s first, outpatient endovascular lab at our Mobile office. This allows us to treat even the most complex venous and arterial diseases quickly and comfortably.

Before making any changes, please consult with a physician. Vascular Associates of South Alabama is the leading provider of vascular care in South Alabama. We welcome the opportunity to treat you. 


Contact Us!

PHONE: 251-410-8272 
FAX: (251) 410-8273
EMAIL: info@myvasadoc.net


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