Heart & Vascular
Peripheral Vascular Disease Peripheral Vascular Disease

Peripheral Vascular Disease

Peripheral Vascular Disease is a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs and limbs. Over time plaque can harden and narrow the arteries, limiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and other parts of the body. It most commonly affects the arteries in the legs.
Living With

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You can do many things to keep PVD from getting worse such as lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as monitoring risk factors that can cause heart attack or stoke. Additionally,

  • Don’t smoke
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet
  • Reduce stress
  • Take any and all medications as prescribed by your doctor
  • Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and maintain good foot hygiene
  • Follow-up with your doctor regularly

Your doctor may recommend cardiac rehabilitation following a treatment procedure.


Treatment Options

Specific treatment will be determined by your doctor based on age, overall health, medical history, extent of the disease and your tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies.

Treatment of peripheral artery disease includes lifestyle changes to manage risk factors such as managing diabetes when present, achieving ideal weight, getting more exercise and quitting smoking.Additionally, drug therapy, may be used to reduce or eliminate the risk of heart disease or stroke.The goal is to manage the symptoms and stop the progression of atherosclerosis.

  • Angioplasty or stenting
  • Thrombolytics (clot dissolvers)
  • Surgery


Exams and Tests

Along with a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures may include:

  • Blood tests
  • Ultrasound
  • Ankle-brachial index (ABI), a simple test comparing blood pressure in the ankle to blood pressure in the arm, indicating how well blood is flowing in the limbs.
  • CT angiogram
  • Arteriography