Peripheral vascular disease (PVD), also known as peripheral arterial disease (PAD), develops most commonly as a result of atherosclerosis, or "hardening of the arteries." This occurs when cholesterol and scar tissue build up, forming a substance called plaque inside the arteries, which become narrowed and clogged. The clogged arteries cause decreased blood flow to the legs, which can result in pain when walking and, in some cases, gangrene and amputation.
People with PVD are at increased risk for heart disease, aortic aneurysms and stroke. PVD is also a marker for diabetes, hypertension and other conditions.
Symptoms of PVD
The most common symptom of PVD is claudication, which is leg pain that occurs when walking or exercising and disappears when the person stops the activity. Other symptoms include numbness and tingling in the lower legs and feet, coldness in the lower legs or feet and ulcers or sores on the legs or feet that don't heal.
New Nonsurgical Treatments Options for PVD
Traditional treatments for PVD include lifestyle changes, medication and major surgery. Now, interventional radiologists can open blocked or narrowed blood vessels caused by PVD without major surgery. In most cases, these minimally invasive procedures do not require hospitalization or general anesthesia and there is no surgical incision—just a small nick in the skin. Patients may return to normal activity shortly after the procedure. learn more
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.