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Peripheral Vascular Disease

Peripheral Vascular Disease – (PVD)  is a disorder affecting the circulation of blood, that leads to narrowing or hardening of the arteries that supply blood to the legs and feet. Often plaque can build up in the vessel and limit the flow of blood and oxygen to the extremities.

Risk Factors

  • Abnormal cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease (coronary artery disease)
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney disease
  • Smoking
  • Stroke
  • Age
  • Family history


  • Pain in legs
  • Numbness in legs
  • Tingling in the legs
  • Muscle cramping in the legs
  • Achiness in the legs
  • Leg fatigue
  • Heaviness in the legs
  • Burning in the
  • Poorly healing wounds in the legs
  • Gangrene in the legs
  • Pain and cramps in the night in the legs
  • Discoloration in the legs
  • Impotence

How is Peripheral Vascular Disease Diagnosed?

The most common way to diagnose PVD is through an ankle-brachial index (ABI), which compares the blood pressure in your ankle with the pressure in your arm. If abnormalities are detected a follow-up ultrasound is performed after the ABI for verification.


Conservative management – Our Vascular surgeons may recommend medication to control your cholesterol and or blood pressure, suggest lifestyle changes including smoking cessation.

Surgical interventions

  • Angiogram of the leg arteries – x-ray using special dye and camera to photograph the flow of blood through the veins and arteries
  • Angiography-minimally invasive procedure where a small catheter is placed into the groin vessel allowing access to the plaque filled artery. Intervention is performed to re-open the artery and allow blood flow through the narrowed vessel. These procedures are called
  • Angioplasty – minimally invasive procedure where a small balloon is passed through a catheter to the narrowed area of the vessel. The balloon is then inflated to expand the vessel wall and improve the flow of blood.
  • Atherectomy – Minimally invasive surgery, done as a alternative procedure to an angioplasty, to remove the hardened portion (atherosclerosis) from the vessels.
  • Arterial stenting – procedure using small wire mesh tubes inserted via catheter into the artery and placed in the area of narrowing, allowing the blood to flow more freely. The stent or wire mesh tube is then left in place permanently to ensure the continued flow of blood throughout the artery.
  • Arterial bypass repair – This is a surgical procedure where the surgeon creates an alternative path for the blood flow placing a new vessel to bypass the effected artery.