What Is Peripheral Vascular Disease

Peripheral arterial disease (PVD) also known as peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a relatively common condition that affects more than 8 million Americans ages 40 and older. PVD is caused by the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries (atherosclerosis).

Emergency Hospital Systems is excited to offer to our community peripheral vascular services to help diagnose and treat patients who may have PVD.  Our services include diagnostic procedures such as peripheral angiograms and treatments like peripheral angioplasty, stenting, and arterial atherectomy.   Most of these procedures can be done on an outpatient basis, which means most patients will be able to get treatment and go home the same day, in most instances.

If you believe you have PVD or have been diagnoses with PVD, please consult your physician and ask about if a diagnostic angiogram with possible treatment is right for you.

Our Cath Lab Director Lynn McClendon explains more about PVD.

Peripheral Vascular DiseasePeripheral Vascular Disease


What is Peripheral Vascular Disease?

Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) occurs when the arteries that carry blood from the heart to other parts of the body become narrowed or blocked due to the accumulation of fatty plaques in the blood vessels. This causes the reduction of blood flow to the organs that are supplied by these vessels.

What are the risk factors for PVD?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, the risk of peripheral vascular disease (PVD) increases significantly as one ages (especially +50 years). Also, those who smoke, have high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, diabetes or high cholesterol are more at risk.  Other factors of risk include having a family history of high cholesterol, high blood pressure or peripheral vascular disease.

What are the signs and symptoms of PVD?

Many people that have PVD does not have any symptom, however, the most common symptom of PVD is pain in the legs that comes with physical activity and that goes away (or gets better) when one is at rest.  According to the CDC, other signs associated with PVD include:  muscle weakness, decrease in the skin temperature and weak pulses on the legs and feet, hair loss on the legs, sores or ulcers in the legs or feet that don’t heal, and cold or numb toes.

What are the complications of PVD?

People with peripherical artery disease is at high risk for developing coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular disease, which could lead to a heart attack or stroke. Additionally, without treatment, PVD may cause sores, infections, and even the loss of a limb.

What can you do to prevent PVD?

CDC recommends getting plenty of physical activity.  Also, quitting smoking and controlling high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.

How is PVD diagnosed and treated?

Diagnosis of PVD is done by performing imaging tests such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), and computed tomographic (CT) angiography.  In addition, Doppler ultra-flow studies are also used to diagnose PVD.

Treatment includes peripheral angioplasty, stenting and arterial atherectomy.

Content Source:

(*) National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute.  What is Peripheral Artery Disease?

(**) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC.  Peripheral Arterial Disease (PVD)

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