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What is Peripheral Arterial Vascular Disease?

Peripheral Arterial Vascular Disease is blockages within the aorta or lower leg arteries. Peripheral Vascular Disease symptoms can present themselves in many different fashions, early on with the disease patients can find themselves maybe walking a block or two, and suddenly they can develop cramping or fatigue in their calves to a point where they have to stop and rest and the pain goes away, and then when they try to walk another block or two the symptoms reoccur that usually indicates the early onset of Peripheral Vascular Disease. When the disease process worsens and the blockages in the lower legs become more severe, patients can present with just pain in the leg at rest with simple sitting or even walking around the house can cause fatigue in the calf or the foot, or numbness and tingling in the lower legs. Some of the more common causes of peripheral vascular disease would include smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and a family predisposition for vascular disease. Some of these cause can be modified by lifestyle changes and some of them cannot, oftentimes we can diagnose Peripheral Vascular Disease with physical examination and symptoms alone, or we can diagnose Peripheral Vascular Disease within office screening tests such as an ABI test, which is a blood pressure measurement, comparing the arm and ankle pressures to detect blockages in the lower legs, as well as a arterial ultrasound of the lower legs or aorta to detect any blockages. If patients experience any of these symptoms, I highly recommend they be evaluated by a vascular surgeon.

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