Vascular Surgeons Phoenix | Mesa
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition of the blood vessels that leads to narrowing and hardening of the arteries that supply the legs and feet. Also known as peripheral vascular disease (PVD), the walls of the arteries also become stiffer and cannot widen (dilate) to allow greater blood flow when needed.
As a result, during exercise, or when the leg muscles have to work much harder, they cannot get enough blood and oxygen. Eventually, there may not be enough blood and oxygen, even when the muscles are resting.
Peripheral artery disease is a common disorder that usually affects men over age 50. People are at higher risk if they have a history of:
- Abnormal cholesterol
- Heart disease (coronary artery disease)
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease involving hemodialysis
The classic symptoms are pain, achiness, fatigue, burning, or discomfort in the muscles of your feet, calves, or thighs. These symptoms usually appear during walking or exercise and go away after several minutes of rest.
At first, these symptoms may appear only when you walk uphill, walk faster, or walk for longer distances. Slowly, these symptoms come on more quickly and with less exercise. Your legs or feet may feel numb when you are at rest. The legs also may feel cool to the touch, and the skin may appear pale.
When peripheral artery disease becomes severe, you may have:
- Pain and cramps at night
- Pain or tingling in the feet or toes.
- Pain that is worse when the leg is elevated and improves when you dangle your legs over the side of the bed
- Ulcers that do not heal
Treatment options for PAD/PVD range from life changes and medications (sclerosing agents or blood thinners) to catheter-based treatments and traditional or endoscopic surgery. Surgery promotes clear blood flow by bypassing a vessel using a graft made of tissue from another undamaged vessel.
Doctors Vranic and Tarlian believe that well-informed patients who are involved and proactive in their care are more likely to achieve better outcomes. To help facilitate this, they will be happy to personally consult with you to answer your questions and fully-explain the treatment options for your condition.