Dr Gajraj has particular expertise in vascular disease and risk factor management. He has received extensive training in cardiovascular disease and he has worked in the NHS as a Consultant Vascular Surgeon for over 13 years. During that time, he has seen how diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure can have a devastating effect on cardiovascular health. In addition to treating vascular disease surgically, he worked collaboratively with diabetic physicians, stroke physicians and GPs to modify risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The aim of the Vascular Assessment is to empower people to improve their own cardiovascular health by identifying problems at an early stage.
Why Cardiovascular Disease is Important
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of death and disability in the United Kingdom.
The four of the main types of cardiovascular disease are
- Coronary heart disease
- Strokes and TIAs
- Peripheral Arterial Disease
- Aortic Disease
How Cardiovascular Disease Presents
-1) Coronary heart disease
Coronary heart disease occurs when the flow of blood to the heart muscle is blocked or reduced. This puts an increased strain on the heart, and can lead to:
Angina– chest pain caused by restricted blood flow to the heart muscle
Heart attacks – where the blood flow to the heart muscle is suddenly blocked
Heart failure – where the heart is unable to pump blood around the body properly
An ECG often detects signs of coronary heart disease.
-2) Strokes and TIAs
A stroke is where the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, which can cause brain damage and possibly death. A transient ischaemic attack (also called a TIA or "mini-stroke") is similar, but the blood flow to the brain is only temporarily disrupted. Irregularities of the heart beat, of which atrial fibrillation is the most common, and narrowing of the carotid artery are the major causes of strokes and TIAs. ECG and carotid duplex ultrasound scan are used to detect these two conditions.
-3) Peripheral Arterial Disease
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) occurs when there's a blockage in the arteries to the limbs – usually the legs. In many cases, PAD causes no symptoms; when the arteries of the legs are severely narrowed, PAD can cause a symptom called intermittent claudication. Typically this is felt as a cramping pain in the calf, after walking, which is promptly relieved by stopping and which is worse on an incline or if walking quickly. Intermittent claudication should not be ignored as it may indicate that you are at increased risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence - NICE- has produced guidance on PAD.
-4) Aortic Disease
Aortic diseases are a group of conditions affecting the aorta. This is the largest blood vessel in the body, which carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. One of most common aortic diseases is an aortic aneurysm, where the aorta becomes weakened and bulges outwards. This doesn't usually have any symptoms, but there's a chance it could burst and cause life-threatening bleeding. An ultrasound scan is the best way to detect an aortic aneurysm.
What You Can Do
The Melbury Clinic offers a Vascular Health Assessment which detects the early stages of cardiovascular disease. The Vascular Health Assessment involves blood tests, ECG, blood pressure measurement, duplex ultrasound scans of the carotid artery, an assessment of the blood flow in the legs by Doppler ultrasound and an Ultrasound Scan of the Aorta. A full written report is provided and at your request, a copy will be sent to your General Practitioner. Based on the results of the Vascular Health Assessment, early intervention can help prevent deterioration in your vascular health. It is strongly recommended that you discuss the results with your own GP or specialist before taking any action based on the report
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The Melbury Clinic Ltd, Higher Barn, Holt Mill, Dorset, DT2 0XL
Head Office Telephone 01935 873951