Peripheral vascular disease (PVD), also know as peripheral artery disease (PAD), results from fatty deposits (plaque) that build up in the blood vessels outside the heart, mainly the arteries supplying the legs and feet. This buildup narrows or blocks your vessels and reduces the amount of blood and oxygen delivered to your leg muscles and feet.
In the early stages of PVD, a common symptom is cramping or fatigue in the legs and buttocks during activity. People with PVD often have fatty buildup in the arteries of the heart and brain. Because of this association, people with PVD have a higher risk of death from heart attack and stroke.
Techniques used to diagnose PVD include a medical history and physical exam, ultrasound or X-ray angiography. Most people with PVD can be treated with lifestyle changes, including smoking cessation, diabetes management, hypertension management, exercise and a low-saturated-fat, low-cholesterol diet.
For individuals whose lifestyle modifications are not sufficient, medication, surgery and/or minimally invasive procedures may be necessary.
To learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of PVD, contact Samaritan Hospital at (518) 268-6179.