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Baylor Medical Center at Carrollton

 
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Peripheral Vascular Disease 

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a slow and progressive circulation disorder. It may involve disease in any of the blood vessels outside of the heart and diseases of the lymph vessels—the arteries, veins, or lymphatic vessels. Organs supplied by these vessels such as the brain, heart, and legs, may not receive adequate blood flow for ordinary function. However, the legs and feet are most commonly affected, thus the name peripheral vascular disease.

What Causes Peripheral Vascular Disease?

PVD is often characterized by a narrowing of the vessels that carry blood to the leg and arm muscles. The most common cause is atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque inside the artery wall).

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What Are the Symptoms of Peripheral Vascular Disease?

Approximately half the people diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease are symptom free. For those experiencing symptoms, the most common first symptom is intermittent leg discomfort.

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How Is Peripheral Vascular Disease Diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for peripheral vascular disease may include any a combination of several different tests.

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What Is the Treatment for Peripheral Vascular Disease?

There are two main goals for treatment of peripheral artery/vascular disease: control the symptoms and halt the progression of the disease to lower the risk for heart attack, stroke, and other complications.

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