Peripheral Vascular Disease, or PVD, is a condition in which the arteries that carry blood to the arms or legs become narrowed or clogged. This interferes with the normal flow of blood, sometimes causing pain but often causing no symptoms at all. The most common cause of PVD is atherosclerosis (often called hardening of the arteries). Atherosclerosis is a gradual process in which cholesterol and scar tissue build up, forming a substance called “plaque” that clogs the blood vessels. In some cases, PVD may be caused by blood clots that lodge in the arteries and restrict blood flow. Smoking is the largest risk factor for development of PVD. Lifestyle and dietary habits contribute as well.
Many treatments can be used to improve blood flow through arteries and veins. The latest interventions for treating vascular disease can bring swift relief and be more cost effective than surgery. Most procedures require out-patient or in-office surgery or no more than an overnight hospital stay. Patients can now enjoy an early return to most normal activities sooner.