About Us

The Indiana University School of Medicine – Vascular Surgery department is a proud institution that is dedicated to rearing tomorrow’s top doctors and residents in vascular surgery.

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The Vascular Section

As a matter of pride and joy, the Vascular Surgery section of the IU School of Medicine welcomes doctors who want to hone their craft even further. Learn and rise with us.

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The Physicians

As much as we pride our institution for producing fine doctors, we won’t be here without our distinguished staff. Take a look at the doctors who share their talents and knowledge.

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featured7 480x360 - Keep yourself Alive: The Importance of Paying Attention to Vascular Health

Keep yourself Alive: The Importance of Paying Attention to Vascular Health

featured7 - Keep yourself Alive: The Importance of Paying Attention to Vascular Health

Cardiovascular health—or vascular health, for that matter—isn’t something to take lightly.

When you talk about the cardiovascular system, you’re dealing with the circulation of blood throughout the body. Blood circulation is important, because this is how the oxygen we breath gets distributed to different parts of our body. With a malfunctioning system, there could be dire consequences to us and our way of life.

This is why, aside from exercising, we pay great importance to keeping our vascular system in great shape.

Signs: Cold or painful hands/feet

You think that cold sensation you feel on your hands and feet is just normal? Think again. This usually is a sign that yourvascular system—particularly your arteries—aren’t’ doing their job properly. They deliver blood to your upper and lower extremities and the cold is because blood can’t circulate properly.

Signs: Edema

Edema is a medical term for the swelling that occurs when there is fluid in your tissues. When this happens, you usually have swollen feet; your ankles and legs could follow suit. This is a symptom of many diseases, but the worst could be blood clotting of the arteries or weak veins read mroe on that by an urologist in san antonio.

Signs: Leg Pain

If you experience leg pain, it could be due to a number of problems, but almost all of these are connected to your vascular system. Normally, you have atherosclerosis if you’re experiencing leg pain. The pain could also be light to severe, depending on how worse your condition is.

Signs: Tingling

This tingling could also progress toward numbness or may be accompanied with such a feeling. Usually, you have PAD when you’re suffering from this. You may also have feelings of weakness or at least get fatigued easily; you need to have yourself checked when this happens.

Prevention: Exercise

One of the best ways to combat such heart conditions is still exercising. We usually suffer from these conditions because we lack physical activity. Also remember that the heart is a muscle—therefore, it works best when it is conditioned by exercise. A 30-minute activity already suffices.

Prevention: Healthy diet

Another way of combating dreaded heart diseases or problems of the vascular system is to make sure you’re eating healthy. A stagnant lifestyle, coupled with improper diet, is a good way to progress any heart disease you’re suffering from. Exercise and diet are always good ways of creating optimal conditions for your vascular system.

There’s no clear cut solution to get rid of heart disease once you’ve got it. The only thing you can do is to live with it—that doesn’t mean, however, that you’ll let it progress. You can live with it while keeping it at bay.

featured7 480x360 - Erectile dysfunction and heart disease – What is the connection?

Erectile dysfunction and heart disease – What is the connection?

Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is the inability to attain and sustain a strong erection suitable for sexual intercourse. The condition often occurs at any age in a man’s life, but it’s more common in aging adults. Infertility, low sex drive, and premature ejaculation are not the same as ED, but one or more of these issues may be linked to it.

It’s estimated that about 10% of adult men suffer from ED on a long-term basis. The much more common condition is the occasional inability to achieve an erection, and this can occur as a result of various reasons such as extreme fatigue or too much drinking.

Inability to achieve a meaningful erection less than 20% of the time is considered normal and one will rarely need treatment. Failure to achieve an erection more than 50% of the time is an indication that there is a physical or psychological problem (or both) that needs to be treated.

While it tends to be more prevalent in senior men, ED is not a normal part of aging. So older men should still be able to achieve an erection and enjoy sex and intimacy. There is, however, a growing revelation indicating that erectile dysfunction is connected to heart disease and other circulatory problems.

Erectile dysfunction and heart disease –the correlation

From a purely mechanical point of view, an erection is hydraulic in nature –extra blood flows to the penis, held there for a while and then drained away. If this blood is interfered with, an erection might not happen.

The most common reason for blood flow interference is a process known as atherosclerosis, which is when the artery clogs. This is also the root cause of heart attacks, strokes, angina, and other cardiovascular conditions. The primary consequence of atherosclerosis is the accumulation of plaque (usually from cholesterol) inside the arteries. This plaque can inhibit the flow of blood through the artery.

The effect of atherosclerosis on health depends on what organ or tissue the plaque-clogged artery nourishes. For instance, a plaque-damaged coronary artery can cause a heart attack or chest pain with stress or exercise. If it happens to an artery nourishing the brain, it can cause dementia, memory loss or stroke. Atherosclerosis in the arteries supplying blood to the penis can prevent sufficient blood flow required to achieve and sustain an erection.

While there’re many other causes of ED, problems with blood vessels are the number one reason. So in essence, an erection serves as a barometer indicating the overall health of your circulatory system. An erectile dysfunction can, therefore, serve as an early warning indicator of trouble in your heart or elsewhere. In fact, erectly dysfunction share a lot of risk factors with heart disease.

Risk factors for erectile dysfunction and heart disease

A wide range of risk factors that contribute to ED have also been linked to heart disease. Some researchers even believe that ED occurs predominantly as a result of an underlying cardiovascular disease. Here are some of the risk factors that these two conditions share.

  • Age: as you age, your risk of developing both erectile dysfunctions and heart disease increases. However, the link between these two conditions is stronger in younger men. If you experience erectly dysfunctions below the age of 50, there are very high chances that you could be having an underlying heart problem. If it occurs after 70 years, it’s less likely to be associated with heart disease.
  • High blood pressure: extended high blood pressure has been shown to damage the lining of the arteries which often interferes with blood flow. This affects the ability to achieve and maintain a strong erection. A study published in 2012 in the Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension journal revealed that about 30% of men suffering from hypertension also complain of ED
  • Smoking: smoking generally increases your risk of developing atherosclerosis and damages your arteries. Use of tobacco has also been linked to ED. A Study carried out on 8,367 men and published in Tobacco Control revealed a significant link between ED and smoking.
  • High blood cholesterol: high levels of cholesterol in your blood can also damage the arteries. Cholesterol buildup in your arteries can lead to clogging and restrict blood flow. As you may have guessed, this contributes to both ED and heart disease.
  • Obesity/Overweight: Excessive weight has also been linked to atherosclerosis, circulation problems, heart disease, and by extension, sexual dysfunction.
  • Depression: A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine by Bandini E et al strongly links depression to both heart disease and ED. It reveals that men showing severe depression symptoms and ED may have a higher risk of experiencing cardiovascular events.
  • Diabetes: According to an article published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology by Ma RC et al, the presence of erectile dysfunction in adult men with type 2 diabetes predicted coronary heart disease. Generally, people suffering from diabetes are more likely to develop heart disease. Additionally, they’re also at higher risk of developing ED compared to people without diabetes.

Way forward; what can you do now?

Most men with erectile dysfunction find the topic quite difficult to discuss, even with their doctors. However, it’s important that you speak to your doctor about the symptoms. They can help you determine if the ED is associated with heart disease.

The doctor can also recommend a number of treatment options for the ED and associated conditions. Going for an earlier diagnosis can help you get the best medication in good time. If the diagnosis reveals a heart disease, initiating early treatment can literally add more years to your life.

Your doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes along with medical prescriptions. These adjustments can help improve your ED situation and keep your heart healthier. Here some of the changes that might be recommended.

  • Quit smoking
  • Lose excess weight
  • Change your diet
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Increase your physical activity/exercise

The changes above can help you reduce the damage to your arteries and vessels, and improve your sexual function as well as your heart’s health. Further tests and treatment might, however, be required if you have more serious symptoms and signs of heart disease, ED or both.

featured6 480x360 - Multiphoton Microscopy or MPM: What is it and What it Does

Multiphoton Microscopy or MPM: What is it and What it Does

featured6 - Multiphoton Microscopy or MPM: What is it and What it Does

As in any other laboratory, schools around the world is currently looking at any technology that will help in the research of better ways to cure heart disease. One of the technologies they’re looking at is multiphoton microscopy or MPM. There is a lot of science that goes into the processes, but what it really is—in layman’s terms—is three-dimensional imaging or scanning of the inside of your body made better.

On the side of both photographic and medical sciences, here is what happens in the process of making multiphoton microscopy images.

In the beginning—Preparation

When you begin, you should choose carefully the technique that you’re going to use. Keep in mind that specimens that are bigger (humans or otherwise) are better if you’re using two-photon excitation process. Otherwise, you’ll need to rely on three-dimensional microscopy (fluorescence method) as an alternative to creating images for whatever need there is.

Confocal microscopy

As for this method of microscopy, it’s more a refinement of the process of multiphoton microscopy. This enables you to use a pinhole-like technique. The importance of this is to clear up the image; this process does so by using the pinhole to keep the focus on the clearer picture and keep the out-of-focus image out of detection in the picture.

Deconvolution—surveying specimens

Deconvolution provides the best out of all solutions for producing specimens. It’s a good source of creating crisp images out of low quality backgrounds, or images that are severely poor in focus. While the images produced are passable at best, the use of widefield lens keeps the excitation process at a low level. This is an effective method for use in living cells and the like.

Two-photon excitation—an old concept

The process using two-photon excitation remains your best chance for  standard crisp image. The excitation of photons leads to a good image where you can see what you need to study. It is this technique that gets more attention in experimental situations as you get more penetration no matter the depth, in contrast to other processes.

Three-photon excitation—viewing specimens

It is widely regarded a nonlinear process in the excitation of photons. It could be used in situations where three photons are needed for fluorophore reaction; the result here is that it develops images that are more useful in detection and study rather than two-photon excitation processes. While this is true, two-photon processes are still quicker to produce and is the usual standard.

Multiphoton Microscopy is a good process to study and use in the field of vascular system treatment. It provides an easier way to spot problems at the earliest stages and work on a cure or treatment for them.

featured5 480x360 - Peripheral Artery Diseases of the Lower Extremeties: Symptoms and Prevention

Peripheral Artery Diseases of the Lower Extremeties: Symptoms and Prevention

featured5 - Peripheral Artery Diseases of the Lower Extremeties: Symptoms and Prevention

It’s easy to get lost with medical terminologies when you refer to heart diseases of the lower extremities as peripheral vascular disease. While these are usually plaques that plug the arteries and cause atherosclerosic conditions, it’s nothing to laugh at; in fact, nothing concerning a disease of the heart is to laugh at. It’s nasty business to sole heart disease as it is.

There is a lot to be concerned about if you find yourself smoking or drinking too much. Usually, that means your blood circulation isn’t where it’s supposed to be, aside from other problems.

11 - Peripheral Artery Diseases of the Lower Extremeties: Symptoms and Prevention

Claudication. This is referred to medically as intermittent claudication. What usually happens is that the arms or legs get cramps, but that’s not the problem; the problem is the severity and the extent of the pain that happens. This is one of the many indicators that you have a blocked artery. Commonly, you’ll experience the pain in the calf muscle with it increasing as time progresses.

12 - Peripheral Artery Diseases of the Lower Extremeties: Symptoms and Prevention

Rest pain. Rest pain is what happens when blood does not circulate properly in the arteries. What a person experiences are pain until such time they cannot bear it at all—even when at rest. This is typically a more serious condition than when you have cramps while you’re in the exercise. In most cases, it starts with the feet, and occurs when you’re at rest—like when you’re sleeping.

13 - Peripheral Artery Diseases of the Lower Extremeties: Symptoms and Prevention

Numbness. Do you ever feel that prickly feeling when your feet is at rest? You feel this numbness when you’re not doing anything—typically when watching a movie on TV or when your legs are resting. This numbness is one symptom that you have a blocked artery. It could be even worse, depending on the severity of what numbness you’re feeling.

14 - Peripheral Artery Diseases of the Lower Extremeties: Symptoms and Prevention

Color changes. You should check your body, often for signs that you’re feeling something and this usually translates into discoloration of your body. You might see your legs or feet colored differently when you’re resting. It could turn palest of pale when it’s raised up or could become red and dusky if it is usually doing something. That’s not a pretty good sign.

16 - Peripheral Artery Diseases of the Lower Extremeties: Symptoms and Prevention

Gangrene or ulcers. Parts of the feet and lower extremities are areas of the body which need the best of circulation. When they fail to get any blood going, then the ulcers—or the gangrene that sets in usually when it’s cold—happen. This is another indicator that there’s something wrong with your arteries, and when this happens, your first action should be to get yourself checked up.

Once you spot these symptoms, it’s time to work on them. Prevention will always be better than cure and you should make the most out of it as soon as you can.

featured4 480x360 - Watching out for the Ticker: Tips for a Healthy Heart

Watching out for the Ticker: Tips for a Healthy Heart

featured4 - Watching out for the Ticker: Tips for a Healthy Heart

So many columns have been written about heart disease and how to keep your heart healthy. There are many ways to literally avoid this top killer of men. You just need the right willpower as well as the drive to keep yourself healthy.

How exactly do you do this? There are two ways: you can exercise regularly and regulate your food intake, or you can exercise and take supplements to keep your heart healthy. Whichever one you choose, you still need willpower to see it through.

Here is a combination of what to do as well as supplements that can help keep your heart healthy.

Monitor your blood pressure

Your blood pressure is an indicator that something’s wrong inside. When you check this out, you either have a normal blood pressure of 120/80; otherwise, you’ll have something as close to 140/90, and that’s still a bit over normal. You should get yourself checked if you have this blood pressure rate.

Control your vices

Drinking and smoking are listed among the many things that may contribute to high blood pressure as well as many symptoms connected to heart disease. Controlling your smoking—if you can’t outright stop smoking—is one way of helping control your high blood pressure, if not lower it right away,

Move around

Your ticker was built to keep pumping blood because, as early humans, we were always moving around from place to place. Society’s comforts have removed that, and this led to heart disease and other vascular problems. One way to combat these diseases is to do as our ancestors did—move around!

Taking supplements: Coenzyme Q10

Have you ever felt tired or sleep the whole day? It’s either you’ve over-exerted yourself, or something may be wrong with your heart. The solution would be depending on what your doctor prescribes; one supplement is the CoQ10, which helps bring back energy into the cells.

Taking supplements: Omega-3s

Who said fatty acids aren’t good? Fatty acids, such as omega-3, are a big help and are usually associated with heart aids. These are usually found in fish—this is why you’re encouraged to eat fish, especially cold water ones. Omega-3 helps regulate inflammation in your body as well as keep your omega-3 levels normal.

Taking supplements: Magnesium

One of the reasons why you have heart attacks is when you’re too tired and stressed at the same time. The solution is simple, based on how you look at it; you should have less stress. Magnesium is your go-to drug in this case. Magnesium helps as a natural de-stresser and, in turn, helps lower your risk of heart attacks.

These tips are only some of many that can help in keeping your heart beating for a long time. You’ll certainly want to follow them, if you want to be with your loved ones for as long as you possibly can.

info2 - Watching out for the Ticker: Tips for a Healthy Heart

Infographic by: visual.ly
featured3 480x360 - Don’t Break your Heart: Heart Diseases Symptoms by Category

Don’t Break your Heart: Heart Diseases Symptoms by Category

featured3 - Don’t Break your Heart: Heart Diseases Symptoms by Category

There are many types of diseases that could kill you. You could say that it’s like life is telling you to ‘pick your poison’, so to speak. There are so many diseases borne by our modern lifestyle, you literally choose which you’ll suffer from based on what lifestyle you live.

There are ways to avoid them, of course. In the case of heart disease, which is still the top killer of people worldwide, there are so many ways to avoid it; as much as you pick which disease will kill you, you can also choose which antidote to take based on the specific disease you’re suffering from.

Fortunately, heart disease can be pretty easy to spot. Here’s how to know if you’re in danger from it.

What’s wrong: Atherosclerotic disease (blood vessels)

This is not a very pleasant disease to have; in fact, none of these are. Atherosclerotic disease is something alarming because it usually leads to further damaging problems like angina, stroke, or total heart failure. You usually know something’s wrong when you experience shortness of breath or pain in the neck or other parts of your body.

What’s wrong: Heart arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeat)

Have you ever heard your doctor say that there’s something wrong with your heartbeat? It may be too fast, too slow, or beats in an irregular rhythm. This is an arrhythmia, or an irregularity in the heartbeat. It may cause you chest pain, dizziness, lightheadedness, or a fluttering feeling in the chest.

What’s wrong: Congenital heart disease (heart defects)

This one is caused by genetics; it is usually non-escapable and one of the things an adult has to live with all their life. It is accompanied by discoloration (a bluish tinge), swelling in areas of the body, or poor weight in babies; when you grow, you usually can’t perform strenuous activities as well as you should.

What’s wrong: Dilated cardiomyopathy (weak heart muscles)

It doesn’t usually give out signs if it can be treated early. However, as time goes by, you may experience a sensation of breathlessness as well as an onslaught of fatigue from so little stimulation. You may also have irregular heartbeats or some swelling.

What’s wrong: Heart infections (Endocarditis)

It’s almost impossible to think that the heart can get infected, but when it does, it doesn’t look pretty at all. At most, you’ll get fever, feelings of breathlessness, or you get weak easily. The symptoms could lead to changes in the heartbeat to developing rashes or spots that are unusual.

What’s wrong: Valvulardisease (stenosis, regurgitation, prolapse)

The symptoms of this problem usually lead to more serious consequences; stenosis is bad for people already suffering from blocked arteries. Leaking or regurgitation may lead to more serious problems later in life, while prolapse often is the prelude to a heart attack. You know you have this when you get fatigued, feel chest pain, or have swollen parts of your body at times.

featured2 480x360 - The Superfoods of Our Time: Food for the Heart

The Superfoods of Our Time: Food for the Heart

featured2 - The Superfoods of Our Time: Food for the Heart

Neglecting your heart isn’t a very good thing to do. Aside from the fact that no one should neglect their heart, heart disease is still the top killer of Americans as well as a big killer of the world’s population. Fortunately, it’s not hard enough to avoid becoming one of the statistics; people can actually avoid that by doing activities as simple as exercising regularly and giving their heart a workout.

This is not the only way to help your heart fight cardiovascular diseases. Aside from exercising, you can also eat foods which can help you fight off heart diseases.

SEAFOODS

1 - The Superfoods of Our Time: Food for the Heart

Salmon/ salmon counts as a great source of omega-3 fatty acids in the heart, but as with everything, take it in moderation. This fish belongs to a group of seafood choices that are good for the heart, like mackerels and sardines. They help avoid conditions such as arrhythmia and atherosclerosis.

GRAINS and FRUITS

2 - The Superfoods of Our Time: Food for the Heart

Oatmeal/ if you’re a lover of this grainy and delicious food group, you’re in good hands. Oatmeal isn’t only good for fiber and as an aid for digestion; it also acts as an aid for your heart. If you’re always on the go, it is advisable to go for quick-cooking oats and staying away from instant oatmeal.

Berries/ the berry group has a lot of choices for the very picky eater, but there is one thing, why berries are a recommended food group; they are also natural dispensers of phytonutrients, chemicals that are good for the heart. Strawberries are top choices, along with cranberries and raspberries.

Citrus/ fruits that belong to this group gives you a boost in energy as well as a jolt if you’re feeling a bit sleepy. Did you know, though, that oranges, grapefruits, and lemons have contributed to about a 19% lower chance of getting a stroke? Not to mention that the Vitamin C found in them is a good aid for your immune system.

VEGETABLES

3 - The Superfoods of Our Time: Food for the Heart

Potatoes/ there is a lengthy debate to include potatoes as food for the heart because of their reputation as ‘junk’ food. The trick, however, is to avoid potatoes that are fried for a long time. The potassium present in potatoes helps in keeping your blood pressure controlled. They are also a good source of fiber.

Tomatoes/ including tomatoes into your appetite aren’t too hard. If you’re a fan of tomato-based dishes like pasta and various pizza choices, you should know that it’s better if your tomatoes are freshly squeezed. They’re a good source of lycopene, which lowers the risk of heart attacks as well as lessen bad cholesterol.

Who says you can’t eat and get healthy too? These foods aren’t super cures, but it’s something that you can definitely use to aid in your battle to keep your body in tip-top shape.

featured1 480x360 - Health, Wealth: Giving your Heart a Healthy Workout

Health, Wealth: Giving your Heart a Healthy Workout

featured1 - Health, Wealth: Giving your Heart a Healthy Workout

When is the best time to get started with a good cardio exercise?

The answer is NOW. Cardio exercises are designed to help you lose weight, but that’s not all they do. Cardio helps you lose weight and, at the same time, it helps your heart recover and get a workout at the same time. The best cardio workouts make your heart contract again and again and, as a muscle, this helps your heart perform at its best and peak performance.

That’s not all that cardio exercises can do. Here are the best workouts for your heart and what they can do.

A disclaimer: To be accurate, there isn’t any clear-cut exercise that’s a good fit for your cardiovascular health. It’s a collection of exercises all working together to keep your heart healthy. However, doing at least one of these per day gives your cardiovascular system a good workout, so that’s already something.

Exercise: Short, intense routine
Effect: break a sweat

It’s good to break a sweat. In fact, it’s good for the very reason that your heart needs it. You know that you’re doing it right when you feel sweaty and have shortness of breath, even after only 30 minutes or less. That doesn’t mean that you’re all pooped and tired—you should still be able to talk to people without any evidence of huffing and puffing.

Exercise: High-intensity
Effect: break a sweat, build muscle

The heart is a muscle. This is why high-intensity workouts are recommended for the cardiovascular system because the heart, being a muscle, gets built-up by this exercise. This is usually done on the fourth or fifth day of a moderately intense exercise. This can also build your various muscles up, so if you have the time, go for it.

Exercise: Longer and more targeted
Effect: for enjoyment

For one day a week, you should take time off from your regular routine. This does not mean that you’re supposed to take a rest day; that’s something you could do on the weekend. What you should do is to take an activity you enjoy such as dance or Zumba. It could also be something lower-intensity, but longer to do like taking a bike trip.

Exercise: Strength training
Effect: Body build-up

Weight training definitely counts as cardio, but you should not over-do it. You can use weights and other training aids for weight training; alternatively, if you can carry your own weight, you might try yoga or other exercises that use your body weight to workout. You should, however, allow your body to rest and recover at least a day in-between sessions.

Exercise is always good! If you can’t commit to exercising 30 minutes a day, at least get yourself moving; there are so many ways to keeping a healthy lifestyle and it’s as simple as keeping an active life.

info1 - Health, Wealth: Giving your Heart a Healthy Workout

Infographic by: blog.naturessunshine.com