Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) / Peripheral artery disease (PAD):

What is Peripheral Vascular Disease?
Peripheral Vascular Disease is a vascular condition that limits blood flow to parts of the body other than heart or brain due to narrowing of peripheral arteries, particularly in legs and pelvis area
PAD raises the risk of heart attack, stroke, and even death
What are the parts or organs affected due to Peripheral Vascular Disease?
To a minor extent, the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your head, arms, kidneys, and stomach also suffer Peripheral Vascular Disease leading to impaired function to organ damage
What are the causes of Peripheral Vascular Disease?
• Atherosclerosis – due to errors in metabolism, inflammation & intestinal microbiota
Diet rich in saturated or trans fat
• Blood clots or clotting disorders
• Inflammation of the arteries - Arteritis
• Bacterial Infections - Treponema pallidum & Salmonella
What are the symptoms of Peripheral Vascular Disease?
• Painful cramping in one or both the hips, thighs or calf muscles
• Pain during exercise, walking or climbing stairs – Claudication
• Constant leg pain even without any activity
• Numbness or weakness in the legs
• Shiny skin on legs
• No pulse or a weak pulse in legs or feet
• Slow healing of foot and toe wounds
• Decrease in temperature of the affected part like leg
• Poor nail growth on the toes
• Change in the colour of legs (pale or bluish)
• Hair loss or poor growth on the legs
• Erectile dysfunction, especially in men with diabetes
Who gets affected typically with Peripheral Vascular Disease?
• Likely men over 60 years of age
• Individuals with Diabetes
• Smokers and Alcoholics
What are the risk factors of PVD?
• Older Age / Aging
• Smoking
• Diabetes
• Overweight or obesity
• High cholesterol
• High blood pressure
• Physical inactivity
• Stroke
• Metabolic Syndrome
• Coronary Heart Disease
How is peripheral vascular disease diagnosed?
• Medical History
• Physical Examination
• Pulse Test - ABI
• Stress Test – Treadmill Test
• Imaging Investigations – MRA, CTA, Doppler Ultrasound, Catheter Angiography & Arteriogram
• Blood Test
How is peripheral vascular disease managed and mitigated?
• Lifestyle Changes – Regular exercise, quitting smoking & alcohol,
• Dietary modifications – eating healthy diet with low saturated fat
• Avoiding certain cold meds - Pseudoephedrine aggravates PAD symptoms
• Use of prescribed medications - Antiplatelet agents, Statins, Anticoagulants, Anti-diabetic, Antihypertensive, Vasodilators (Naftidrofuryl)
How is peripheral vascular disease treated?
• Medications - Antiplatelet agents, Statins, Anticoagulants, Anti-diabetic, Antihypertensive, Vasodilators (Naftidrofuryl)
• Thrombolytic Therapy
• Minimally Invasive Surgeries – Angioplasty, Stenting, Atherectomy, Clot retrieval
• Invasive Surgery - Bypass Surgery using biological or synthetic vessel
What are the self-help tips or dos and don’ts for managing peripheral vascular disease?
• Ask doctor for recommendations on - food, beverages, activities, exercises, wound & self –care
• Take medicines just as recommended and prescribed
• Keep your blood sugar levels under control
• Put efforts to maintain healthy weight
• Try avoiding or quitting smoking and drinking alcohol
• Walk as much as possible and take breaks when you feel pain or tired
• Choose the exercises you like and comfortable with and practice them for at least for 30 minutes in a day
• Have heart friendly diet such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains and avoid foods rich in sugar, salt and saturated or trans fats
• Wear proper footwear to prevent injury or ulcer
• Check your feet for wounds and consult doctor if they aren’t healing quickly
• Wash but not soak your feet with warm water and dry them gently
• Wiggle your feet and toes while sitting to increase blood flow
• Stay indoors and keep yourself warm while idle or during workouts
• When outdoors, use thick socks during winter
• Do not use compression stockings, they might cause more harm
• Use prescribed medicines for cold as some may worsen the condition
What are the synonyms or other names for PAD?
• Atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease
• Peripheral vascular disease (PVD)
• Peripheral artery occlusive disease
• peripheral obliterative arteriopathy
• Vascular disease
• Hardening of the arteries
• Claudication
• Poor circulation
• Leg cramps from poor circulation
Is there a rehabilitation program available for managing peripheral vascular disease treated?
• For patients with painful legs during activity - claudication, an upper-body ergometry, cycling, and pain-free or low-intensity walking is recommended as part of rehabilitation
• For patients without claudication, a supervised exercise program with behavioural therapy
• PAD specific rehabilitation helps in improving functional movements and quality of life while reducing most of the painful and chronic symptoms

As one of the best heart hospitals in Hyderabad, Virinchi Hospitals have been successfully treating:

Coronary Artery Disease
Heart Failure
Cardiac Arrhythmia
Other Heart Problems

Best of our heart specialists, nurses and support staff have been delivering remarkable care and services towards most complex and high risk cardiovascular conditions that are typically risky and challenging.

Author's Bio: 

Virinchi Hospitals is now recognised as one of the best hospitals in Hyderabad city by incorporating finest of the Medical Equipment, Infrastructure, Processes and People while excelling in healthcare with international standards in diagnosis and therapy for treating every disorder to an extent current medical science can possibly provide with evidence.