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Vascular Care

Peripheral Vascular Disease

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a progressive disorder of your blood vessels. It results in not enough blood flow to your extremities, especially your legs and feet, as well as other organs.

Also known as peripheral artery disease or PAD, peripheral vascular disease affects any blood vessels outside of your heart. Most people experience symptoms in their legs and feet.

Check your PAD risk.

Take our free, online assessment to learn more about your vascular health and get a report to share with your medical provider.

What are the symptoms of PVD?

Many people with PVD have no symptoms until their condition worsens with time and age. The most common first symptom is painful leg cramps that occur with exercise and are relieved by rest.

The name for this condition is intermittent claudication. It happens because your muscles need more blood flow during exercise and less when they are at rest. You may experience this in one or both legs.

Other peripheral vascular disease symptoms include:

  • Changes in the skin or hair loss on your legs and/or feet
  • Wounds that won’t heal on your feet and legs
  • Weak pulses in your legs and feetPain (such as aching or burning) in your toes while lying flat
  • Paleness in your legs when they are elevated
  • Thickened, opaque toenails
  • Numbness, weakness and heaviness in your feet or leg muscles

ankle brachial index test

How is peripheral vascular disease diagnosed?

Your primary care physician or a vascular specialist will give you a physician exam and may also order additional diagnostic tests. The most commonly used in-office test is called an ankle brachial index (ABI). It is non-invasive and only requires a blood pressure cuff and a Doppler ultrasound device.

How is PVD treated?

Since PVD is a slow and progressive disease, your doctor’s goal will be to stop the progression and control your symptoms.

Treatment can include lifestyle changes, treatment of other conditions that worsen PVD (such as diabetes and high blood pressure), medicines, surgery and even angioplasty and stenting, which is used to unblock and keep open larger blood vessels.


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Think you have PVD?

Call to make an appointment with a vascular specialist at Tanner Vascular Surgery. Or, talk with your primary physician about an ankle brachial index test.

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