815-824-4406
20060 Governors Drive
Suite 102
Olympia Fields, IL 60461
For office hours at each location, click here
Register HERE for the latest news from Dr. Tanquilut
Main menu
Listening, Understanding and Providing Superior Vascular Care

When your health, wellness and quality of life are jeopardized by poor circulation, you need specialists with advanced education and experience who will concentrate on you.

Dr. Eugene Tanquilut, Dr. Sanjeev Pradhan and Dr. Saadi Alhalbouni are board-certified in both vascular and endovascular surgery. Fellowship trained and award-winning, our physicians have extensive experience and knowledge in both traditional and innovative minimally invasive methods to manage your vascular health.

Best of all, Dr. Tanquilut, Dr. Pradhan and Dr. Alhalbouni approach each patient as a member of the family, with empathy, altruism and honesty.

What does 120/80 really mean?

Vascular Specialists Blood Pressure

When Dr. Tanquilut or Dr. Pradhan measure your blood pressure, they record two numbers. If those numbers are above 120/80, you’ll be told you have high blood pressure. If they are below 90/60, our doctors will be concerned that your blood pressure is too low.

While that all sounds reasonable, have you ever thought about what those numbers actually mean? What do they really indicate? And why are they important to your vascular health?

The Top Number

The top, or first, number is your systolic blood pressure. Your heart pushes blood through your arteries when it contracts, creating pressure on the walls of those arteries.

The Bottom Number

The bottom or second number is your diastolic pressure, which measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart is at rest between contractions.

How Are They Determined?

The pressure gauge, which is a glass tube of mercury, and cuff, called a sphygmomanometer, is wrapped around your arm and then inflated. The goal of this inflation is to stop your pulse very briefly. As the cuff deflates, your doctor will listen with a stethoscope for the “Korotkoff sounds” in your arteries. When the sounds begins, your doctor will note at the level of mercury in the gauge, which is your top number. When the sounds end, the level of mercury is noted again, resulting in your bottom number. Those numbers, top and bottom, translate to millimeters of rising mercury in that gauge.

Why Is High Blood Pressure A Worry?

When your blood pushes against your arteries too strongly, it’s just like too much air in a tire. At some point, arteries are going to “pop”, leading to stroke or heart disease, vision problems or kidney failure.

Who Gets High Blood Pressure?

Family history can play a large part in your risk of high blood pressure. Even those who maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, don’t smoke and watch their salt intake can require treatment for high blood pressure. Other factors include:

  • being over 55
  • overweight
  • excessive alcohol use
  • smoking
  • eating salty foods
  • not physically active
  • African-Americans are at higher risk as a group.

Protect your vascular system by having your blood pressure regularly checked by your family doctor, Dr. Tanquilut and Dr. Pradhan. If you are at risk, check it often yourself at your local pharmacy. Track your results and share them with your physicians. If you have any questions about your blood pressure or your vascular health, just call us at 815-824-4406. We are always happy to spend time answering your questions!

Think F.A.S.T when you suspect a stroke!

Act F.A.S.T. and dial 9-1-1 when you suspect a stroke.

Act F.A.S.T. and dial 9-1-1 when you suspect a stroke.

 

“Time is brain” when a stroke occurs. Each moment that the brain of the stroke victim is without oxygen, the more damage to the victim’s long term health and abilities the stroke will inflict.

At Vascular Specialists, Dr. Tanquilut and Dr. Pradhan want you to be able to confidently help when a loved one is the victim of a stroke – and to recognize the symptoms if it happens to you! By following the recommendations of the American Stroke Association, you can help your loved one.

When you can identify the signs of a stroke quickly and act quickly to summon help, medical personnel will be able to intervene quickly – which means the chances of a better recovery are exponentially improved. If blood flow can be restored or improved within two hours of initial symptoms – no matter how minor – of an ischemic stroke, caused by a clot blocking a blood vessel in the brain, permanent damage can often be avoided.

How can you do this as quickly as needed? By thinking F.A.S.T.! Using the acronym F.A.S.T, you can be better aware of the onset of a stroke and call 9-1-1 immediately to summon emergency medical help.

F – FACE DROOPING. If you suspect someone is having a stroke, ask them to smile. If the smile is uneven, or one side of the face is numb, especially on one side of the body, it’s a symptom of stroke.

A – ARM WEAKNESS. Tell the person to raise both of their arms and hold them at shoulder height. If there is weakness or numbness in one arm, they will be unable to lift it, or it will drift downward without their control, also a symptom of stroke.

S – SPEECH DIFFICULTY. Can you clearly understand the person? Are they unable to speak at all? If their speech sounds slurred and they are too panicked to talk, ask them to repeat a simple sentence, such as “The weather is fine today.” The person also may not understand what you are saying, or may seem too confused to repeat your sentence.

T – TIME TO CALL 9-1-1. If someone shows any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1. Make a note of the time the symptoms first appeared. Even if the symptoms resolve themselves quickly, call 9-1-1. When you see stroke symptoms in someone, or feel them in yourself, it is time to act F.A.S.T. and call 9-1-1 without hesitation. 

Other stroke symptoms to note are sudden vision problems, loss of balance, dizziness and trouble walking, or a sudden severe headache.

You may think of driving the stroke victim to the hospital yourself, but it’s much more often better to call 9-1-1. When the ambulance arrives, EMTs can begin medical intervention immediately. They will also keep hospital staff abreast of the situation so staff is prepared to act the moment the person comes through the door of the Emergency Department.

After you’ve called 9-1-1, keep the person calm and safe, lying on their side if possible. Don’t offer any food or drink, as this could be a choking hazard.

In the case of a stroke, remember that “time is brain”. Your victim will recover more quickly and more thoroughly when you act F.A.S.T – and call 9-1-1 immediately.

Questions about stroke symptoms or stroke treatment? Call Vascular Specialists at 815-824-4406. Dr. Tanquilut and Dr. Pradhan, in New Lenox and Olympia Fields, are ready to answer your questions thoroughly!

Should you worry about stroke?

VascularSpecialists Tanquilut PradhanThere are few medical conditions that can strike fear into hearts as much as a stroke. Experiencing a stroke can be life-changing or, for nearly 130,000 American each year, suddenly life-ending.

At Vascular Specialists, Dr. Tanquilut and Dr. Pradhan believe that knowing more about strokes will ease the fear – and help prevent stroke in you.

What exactly is a stroke?

A stroke happens when blood flow to any area of the brain is cut off, depriving brain cells of oxygen and killing them.

How can this happen?

An ischemic stroke is caused by a blood vessel being blocked by a blood clot or fragment of plaque. A hemorrhagic stroke, accounting for about 15% of strokes, is caused by a weak blood vessel bursting.

Who is at risk?

While most strokes occur in people over 65, you are at a greater risk of stroke at any age if you smoke, have high blood pressure or diabetes or are overweight. African-Americans also tend to have a higher stroke risk.

Can I prevent a stroke?

The American Stroke Association says 85% of all strokes – nearly 676,000 each year, can be avoided. Changes to make include:

  • Stop smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise frequently
  • Control your blood pressure

Is stroke always permanently disabling or life-ending?

No. The faster a victim gets emergency care, the better the chances are for recovery. If you have any suspicion that you or someone you’re with is having a stroke, call 911 immediately.

Right now, every two minutes, three people in the United States experience a potentially deadly stroke. Through lifestyle changes, proper health care management and consistent exercise, that statistic can drop to just one person every five minutes.

Concerned about your stroke risk? Call Vascular Specialists at 815-824-4406. Dr. Tanquilut and Dr. Pradhan, in New Lenox and Olympia Fields, are always happy to take the time to thoroughly explain and answer your questions.

60,000 miles – inside YOUR body!

VascularSpecialist Blood Vessels

 

It’s just amazing. If you laid out all the blood vessels in your body in one line, those vessels would circle the world more than four times, totaling about 60,000 miles long. Keep in mind that those vessels would be working 24/7 too, pumping blood away from your heart and then back to it.

Are all these vessels the same?

There are three different kinds of blood vessels; arteries, veins and capillaries. Each have a different function in the health of your body.

What do arteries do?

As your heart continually oxygenates your blood, arteries are the vessels that carry that oxygen-rich blood away from your heart to the capillaries. Arteries are thick, with muscles in the walls to help them keep their shape and cope with the pressure of your beating heart. This pressure is so strong that blood flows only in one direction within your arteries.

FACT – The aorta is the largest artery and is divided into ascending, aortic arch, descending thoracic and abdominal.

What do capillaries do? 

Capillaries are the “middle men”; they connect the arteries to the veins. They exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide in your muscles, bones, glands, organs – everything and anything inside your body, bringing that CO2 back to your veins. The smallest capillary is about 1/3 the width of a strand of human air and cells have to line up single file and sometimes deform themselves to keep moving.

FACT – When you squeeze your skin and it blanches, it’s because you’ve pressed the blood out of your capillaries. Go ahead, try it!

What do the veins do?

Veins carry blood back to the heart. They are thinner than arteries and not as muscular. Because veins are working against gravity and don’t have the pressure from your heart pushing that blood, veins have valves that open and close to keep your blood flowing only in one direction. There are three types of veins. Superficial veins can be seen with your naked eye. Perforating veins connect those veins with deep veins. Deep veins are within your muscles and transport about 90% of your blood back to your heart.

FACT – Varicose veins are caused by the failure of those valves, enabling blood to leak backwards.

Questions about the health of your blood vessels? Call Dr. Tanquilut and Dr. Pradhan at 815-824-4406 in New Lenox or Olympia Fields. We will be happy to answer those questions!

Get To Know Your Carotid Arteries

VascularSpecialists Carotid Artery

While we here at Vascular Specialists believe every vein and artery in your body is important, we know that the health of your carotid arteries play a vital part in avoiding life-altering, or life-threatening, stroke.

Where are my carotid arteries?
Place your fingertips on each side of your neck, under your jawline, and feel for the pulse.

Why are carotid arteries so important?
Your carotid arteries run to the front page of your brain, supplying oxygen to those parts that control speech, thought, personality and sensory and motor functions. Damage to these arteries means damage to that part of your brain and these functions – everything that makes you the person you are.

What can happen to these arteries?
Being diagnosed with atherosclerotic disease, carotid artery stenosis, or carotid artery disease, means the space in these arteries is narrowing, getting blocked with cholesterol and plaque. A stroke occurs when the artery becomes too narrow or ruptures, plaque breaks off or a blood clot forms, blocking the artery.

How do I know if I’m developing carotid artery disease?
Usually, carotid artery disease has no symptoms, until you experience a transient ischemic attack or a stroke – and then it could be too late.

However, if the risk factors below apply to you, discuss a screening with your primary care physician or with Dr. Tanquilut or Dr. Pradhan.

What are those risk factors?
Family history of carotid artery disease OR coronary artery disease
High blood pressure or hypertension
Smoking
High cholesterol
Diabetes

Lack of physical activity and obesity are also risk factors, along with advancing age.

What kind of screening should I expect?
Your physician will first listen to your carotid arteries with a stethoscope, on the alert for a bruit, an abnormal sound indicating agitated or irregular blood flow. If carotid artery disease is suspected from this simple test, Dr. Tanquilut or Dr. Pradhan may order an ultrasound, CT or angiogram to confirm the diagnosis and determine the extend of your disease.

So what’s my first step if I have any of these risk factors?
Call our offices at 815-824-4406 to make an appointment. Dr. Tanquilut and Dr. Pradhan can listen to your arteries and order any additional necessary tests immediately. Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, and doing everything you can to prevent it is vital to your health.

Is your new year resolution “quit smoking”? Congratulations! Now like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for helpful tips over the next several weeks! Click here to discover why quitting smoking is single most important thing you can do for your health.

“Quit Smoking” Resolution Is One To Keep This Year

VascularSpecialists Tanquilut

Smoking takes a toll on every part of the body

For many people, each January 1st is a new chance to finally keep their resolution to quit smoking. These smokers may have tried for years to kick the habit. They know it is expensive, they know it stinks, and they know it’s negatively impacting their health. For decades, they’ve heard physicians warning that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer and heart disease. Smokers should, in fact, consider the damage to their entire body because in reality, the heart and lungs are only the tip of the iceberg.
“Smoking causes damage to all major systems and all organs of the body,” explains Eugene Tanquilut, D.O., vascular/endovascular surgeon of Vascular Specialists, LLC, in Olympia Fields and New Lenox.
The system that takes the biggest – and quickest – hit is the vascular system – particularly the arteries that carry blood throughout the body. The damage isn’t confined just to the vessels supplying blood to the heart and lungs; it’s occurring, to one degree or another, to every vessel.
With each inhalation, everything from the smallest blood vessels in the ears to the skin’s veins and arteries begins to degenerate, showing as hearing loss, wrinkles, early aging, hair loss and tooth loss. Smoking damages nerves in toes and feet while weakening bones with toxins and killing osteoblasts, the cells that make and repair bones. Smoking thins the brain’s cortex, which speeds mental decline as smokers age.
Smoking is also associated with diabetes, decreased immune function, preterm delivery, reduced fertility, sexual dysfunction, weaker bones, age-related eye diseases, and rheumatoid arthritis. The list continues to go on and on.
“Tobacco use is the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the United States,” says Sanjeev Pradhan, M.D., vascular surgeon. “Nearly one in five deaths, or an estimated 440,000 deaths per year, are related to tobacco use and smoking.”

How Smoking Affects the Arteries
Though there are more than 4,000 chemicals emitted by a lit cigarette; a leading culprit is nicotine. Besides being addictive, nicotine is a stimulant that increases the heart rate by about 20 beats per minute with every cigarette; it also raises blood pressure. Nicotine also acts as a vasoconstrictor, making it harder for the heart to pump blood through the constricted or narrowed arteries. Finally, nicotine also causes the body to release its stores of fat and cholesterol into the blood.
“In a healthy blood vessel, the lining of the arteries (endothelium) constricts and dilates with blood flow,” Dr. Tanquilut said. “Smoking damages the endothelium, making arteries prone to spasms and plaque deposits that damage their ability to dilate properly.”
This condition, known as atherosclerosis, is a gradual process. When the arteries narrow, blood clots are likely to form.
“Smoking accelerates the hardening and narrowing process in your arteries,” Dr. Pradhan added. “It starts quickly if you begin smoking, and blood clots are two to four times more likely.”
Smoking also lowers levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) and raises levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol). It decreases the movement of cholesterol through the body, and contributes to its accumulation in the arteries, putting smokers at a higher risk for heart attack, stroke, and limb loss.
Cigarette smoking also dramatically increases the risk for blood clots.
“If the blood clots in an artery, and it can no longer get the through, the tissue that’s supposed to be supplied with blood has lost its source of oxygen and nutrients and dies in minutes,” Dr. Tanquilut said.
Cigarette smoking can also have devastating affects on the:
Brain. Smoking narrows the arteries in the brain and the carotid arteries in the neck, increasing the risk of stroke. When the vessels become blocked, stroke, paralysis and even death – if the section of the brain affected controlled a life-sustaining function – can results.
Peripheral Arteries. Smokers are also at increased risk for peripheral arterial disease, clogged arteries in the legs that cause insufficient blood flow to get to the leg muscles. This causes pain, especially when walking and, left untreated, this insufficient blood flow can lead to limb amputation.
Aorta. Many studies have linked cigarette smoking with an increased risk for developing abdominal aortic aneurysms, an enlarged area in the lower part of the aorta, the major blood vessel that supplies blood to the body. As blood flows through the aorta, the weak area bulges like a balloon and can burst if the balloon gets too big.

Commit to Quit In 2016
“Quitting is the single-most important thing any smoker can do to reduce their risk of developing potentially life-threatening health conditions,” Dr. Tanquilut explained. “In just two to five years, a smoker who has quit will have the same stroke risk as a non-smoker.”
Amazingly, when a smoker quits January 1, by January 3 the body experiences immediate health benefits, just 48 hours later. Blood pressure decreases; the pulse rate drops; carbon monoxide levels in the blood return to normal; oxygen levels increase to normal; the chance of a heart attack decreases; nerve endings start regenerating, and the ability to taste and smell improves.
After one year, the risk of a heart attack drops sharply. Ten years after quitting, the risk of lung cancer is cut in half.
“The moment you quit, the body starts repairing itself,” Dr. Pradhan added. “Make and keep that resolution this year. It’s never too late to stop.”
If you or someone you know has vascular disease, Drs. Tanquilut and Pradhan offer all treatment options available, including medical management, minimally invasive endovascular procedures, such as balloon angioplasty, atherectomy and stent procedures, and open surgical repair including bypass.
For more information, call 815-824-4406 or visit vascspecialists.org

Facing dialysis? Which access is right for you?

11-29

As soon as you know that dialysis is in your future, you’ll need to discuss an access with your physician and with us, your vascular surgeons. Time is a significant deciding factor in the choice of access that will be created, along with the size and health of your veins.

With a minor surgical procedure, Dr. Tanquilut or Dr. Pradhan will create a portal that will be used to remove and return your blood during dialysis. Either a fistula or a graft will be created, increasing the blood flow and strengthening the vein to allow an even greater flow, making dialysis efficient and effective.

What is a fistula?
A fistula is created from your own tissues, joining an artery to a vein. For best maturation and functioning, your fistula surgery should take place about 6 months before you begin dialysis. Fistulas are preferred whenever possible as they tend to be more durable and are less inclined to infection and complications.

What is a graft?
A graft is an artificial tube, made of plastic or synthetic materials, that is used to join your artery to your vein. When dialysis needs to begin quickly, a graft can heal within 3 to 6 weeks. If your veins are too small or blocked by scarring, a graft will be your best option.

After surgery, you will be encouraged to strengthen your veins by squeezing a stress ball. Proper care of your access is vital to its long term health. Complications can include:
• “steal”, when the fistula causes too much blood to flow away from your hand
• clotting
• infection
• narrowing
• bleeding
• formation of an aneurysm in the access

Vascular Specialists will monitor the health and viability of your access regularly, ensuring that your dialysis goes as smoothly as possible.

If you have any questions, call our office at 815-824-4406. We will be happy to address your concerns!

My Toes Are Blue!

 

 

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can turn your toes blue – and lead to lost limbs. Dr. Tanquilut and Dr. Pradhan of Vascular Specialists are here to help you better understand the symptoms that can indicate PAD.

PAD begins as cholesterol particles accumulate on your artery walls, causing plaque to form. This plaque then builds into thicker deposits, narrowing the opening in your arteries and restricting blood flow.

Because your legs are no longer getting enough blood to function properly, you may suffer from leg, hip or thigh cramping when walking, pain that eases when resting. This symptom is called intermittent claudication.

Other symptoms include:
• those blue or pale toes and feet
hair loss or slow growth on your feet and legs
coldness, numbness or weakness in your legs and feet
slow growth of toenails
possibility of erectile dysfunction

If left untreated, PAD can develop into critical limb ischemia. When sores, injuries and infections in your legs can’t heal because of restricted blood flow, the tissue begins to die, causing gangrene and requiring amputation.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, ask your doctor about screening you for PAD or make an appointment with Vascular Specialists by calling 815-824-4406.

Are you thinking about your veins today?

VascularSpecialist Salmon

Keeping your veins and arteries healthy means you’ll keep your whole body healthy. Your vascular system supplies every muscle, every bone and every organ in your body with everything needed to keep functioning at optimum levels.The healthier your vascular system, the healthier your body!

Here is a simple way to put your vascular health front and center. First, rid yourself of fast foods and processed foods, as much as possible. Next, incorporate these vein- and artery-healthy foods into your diet:

• avocados
• broccoli
• cranberries
• pomegranates

• brown rice
• nuts, like almonds and walnuts
• salmon, tuna and herring (at least twice a week!)

• turmeric
• cinnamon

coffee (about 2 cups a day)

By including these foods as much as possible into your diet, you’ll be taking better care of your vascular system with hardly a thought.

Avoiding Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

VascularSpecialistsShould I be concerned about DVT (deep vein thrombosis)?

If you are experiencing varicose veins, you may be at a higher risk for life-threatening DVT, a blood clot in your deep veins, usually in your legs.

DVTs are dangerous because that blood clot may break off and travel to your lungs, blocking blood flow and causing a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism.

While varicose veins are easily seen just below your skin in your legs, DVT occurs in veins that can’t be seen at the surface.

DVT symptoms include:
• swelling in your legs
• leg pain, usually a cramping or soreness that starts in your calf
• DVT can also be present with no symptoms.

Our physicians will examine your legs and likely order an ultrasound immediately. DVT is not a “wait and see” condition; if you suspect you have DVT, get evaluated immediately.

If you are not experiencing symptoms, but have a family history or risk factors for DVT, including weight issues, smoking, prolonged bed rest or sitting in one position for long periods of time (driving, flying or working at a computer), be proactive about your health and get screened for DVT. It could save your life!

Call Vascular Specialists today at 815-824-4406 if you have any questions about your vein health!

Is the Venous Pump a great pair of shoes? A rock band?

Varicose_02_Base_300Most definitely not. Here, Dr. Tanquilut and Dr. Pradhan explain!

The blood enriching your legs and toes makes quite a journey. Gravity helps the blood travel through the arteries, going away from your heart. But your veins must work against gravity to get that now oxygen-depleted blood back to your heart.

Your leg muscles squeeze the veins, and one-way valves in your veins keep the blood flowing “up”, back to the heart. As muscles relax, the valves close, keeping the blood from flowing “down”, away from the heart.

This process is the venous pump!

When you walk, exercise and move those legs, the venous pump does it job marvelously. But when you sit or stand for excessive periods of time, the pressure of pooling blood can damage your valves – and varicose veins result.

Keep your venous pump healthy by moving!

Get up from your desk during the day as much as possible. Make sure your exercise includes moving those legs and strengthening your muscles, like dancing, walking, swimming or jump rope. And don’t smoke!

Call Vascular Specialists today at 815-824-4406 if you have any questions about your vein health!

The Truth About Spider Veins

The causes, symptoms and treatments for those thread-like clusters of veins can be misunderstood. Dr. Tanquilut and Dr. Pradhan are here to help with honest information!

FACT: Spider veins are not a “normal” part of getting older.
About half of American women and about 2 in 5 American men will experience spider veins. While your risk increases as you age, spider veins are caused by a backup of blood, which can be triggered by pregnancy, hormonal changes, sun exposure or injuries. Getting spider veins is not predetermined for everyone.

FACT: If your mom or dad had spider veins, you probably will.
Weak vein valves are hereditary, so take a peek at your parents’ legs. When they have abnormal leg veins, chances are good that you will too. Regular walking or running, avoiding high heels, not smoking and eating a low-salt, high fiber diet can help cut that risk.

FACT: Weight plays a large part in the development of spider veins.
That’s why spider veins are more likely to appear when you’re pregnant, and get worse with each following pregnancy. Being overweight overall put extra pressure on your veins, weakening valves. If you’re genetically inclined to have spider veins, make sure you maintain a healthy weight.

FACT: Spider veins can hurt.
While spider veins, unlike varicose veins, are not usually a serious health problem, they can be very uncomfortable. Spider vein clusters can itch and burn. Standing or sitting – holding one position – for too long each day can worsen the problem. Shift your weight often and elevate your legs whenever possible.

FACT: There is no non-medical remedy to “cure” spider veins.
Compression stockings and consistent leg elevation might slow the progression of spider veins, but only medical treatment can make them disappear. Ask if sclerotherapy, the most common treatment for spider veins, is right for you. Dr. Tanquilut or Dr. Pradhan will insert a solution into your veins to cause them to seal shut and vanish.

FACT: Vein “clinic” or “center” doctors are not specially trained in vein care and vein health.
Dr. Tanquilut and Dr. Pradhan are board-certified and fellowship trained vascular surgeons, meaning that they’ve completed years of training dedicated solely to veins. This training and certification means your health is in vastly more qualified hands – and if something is unusual about your vein care, our physicians are more educated and experienced to handle it properly.

Call Vascular Specialists today at 815-824-4406 if you have any questions about your vein health!