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Peripheral Vascular Disease

Vascular Surgery Associates, LLC

Vascular Surgery, Wound Care, and Podiatry located throughout Maryland and Newark, DE

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) can cause issues like leg pain, leg heaviness, and slow-healing wounds. Vascular Surgery Associates, LLC, diagnoses PVD and offers treatment to relieve your symptoms at their offices in Bel Air, Baltimore, Towson, Westminster, Elkton, Frederick, Ellicott City, Hampstead, Abingdon, Columbia, Lutherville, Severna Park, MD, Wilmington, and Newark, DE. Book your appointment online or call the office nearest you for PVD treatment today.

Peripheral Vascular Disease Q & A

What is peripheral vascular disease (PVD)?

PVD is a circulatory disorder that primarily affects the legs, ankles, and feet. It occurs because of constriction, blockage, or erratic movement of an artery, vein, or lymphatic vessels. 

What causes peripheral vascular disease?

The leading cause of PVD is atherosclerosis, the growth of plaque within your arteries. Plaque builds up to restrict the space inside your blood vessels, which in turn prevents enough blood from getting to your extremities. Your blood contains crucial oxygen and nutrients, so you're unable to maintain healthy tissue without a consistent blood supply. 

Other possible causes of PVD can include trauma to your extremities and infections. If you have coronary artery disease (CAD), you're likely to have PVD as well. 

What are the signs of peripheral vascular disease?

PVD typically starts with a specific type of leg pain, intermittent claudication in one or both legs. With intermittent claudication, you have serious leg pain and cramps when you're walking or doing other types of exercise involving the legs. But, when you rest, the symptoms ease. 

Intermittent claudication happens because your blood vessels struggle to keep up with the demand for extra blood during exercise. 

Some other signs of PVD are:

  • Heavy feeling legs
  • Slow-healing wounds in leg pressure points
  • Cold legs
  • Shiny skin on legs
  • Thinning and weakening leg skin
  • Toenail thickening
  • Slow hair growth on legs
  • Skin discoloration, such as reddish-blue feet

PVD symptoms can mimic other vascular disorders, so it's critical to see the team at Vascular Surgery Associates, LLC, for an accurate diagnosis when you're having these issues. 

How is a peripheral vascular disease diagnosed?

The team reviews your medical history and symptoms, then performs a thorough foot and leg exam. You may need tests such as the ankle-brachial index (ABI) to check your ankle area blood pressure, as PVD sufferers have low blood pressure in that area. 

You may also need a Doppler ultrasound to show your blood moves in and out of your blood vessels. 

How is a peripheral vascular disease treated?

PVD treatment can reduce your symptoms and prevent the disease from worsening. By taking action now, you can reduce your risk of serious complications like stroke and heart attack. 

Treatment typically includes diet changes, exercise, and stopping smoking. You may need medication to control contributing conditions like high cholesterol and diabetes. Your doctor may also prescribe blood thinners.

Balloon angioplasty and atherectomy are both minimally invasive procedures that open narrowed or blocked blood vessels. After this type of procedure, you may need a stent to keep the blood vessel open. 

The Vascular Surgery Associates, LLC, team are experts in all aspects of PVD, so you can count on them for the right treatment. Book your consultation online or by phone today.