It's easy to mistake leg pain for a sore muscle. But if it occurs on a regular basis, or your legs feel weak or heavy, the problem might be your arteries, not your muscles. Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a problem that often affects blood vessels leading to poor blood flow in your legs or feet.
What is Peripheral Vascular Disease?
PVD is also known as peripheral artery disease (PAD). It happens when plaque slowly builds up in arteries in one or both of your legs. Over time, it restricts blood flow, causes pain and can lead to wounds that won't heal.
At Luminis Health, our vascular specialists offer state-of-the-art treatments for PVD that will keep you pain-free and moving.
The Region's Leading Peripheral Vascular Disease Care
At Luminis Health, we use advanced treatments and a highly experienced team approach to managing PVD. In fact, PVD is one of the most common vascular conditions we treat.
You can trust us for your vascular care because we:
- Are nationally recognized. The American College of Cardiology recognizes Luminis Health for its commitment to hospital care for heart patients. You'll find us on the 2022 U.S. News & World Report list of “Best Hospitals."
- Have an experienced surgical team. Our surgeons perform many procedures each year. PVD is one of the most common conditions we treat.
- Offer the latest PVD treatments. Our vascular specialists are pioneers in the field, and we use the latest technology to detect and treat PVD. Our advanced surgical techniques offer treatments with less pain and faster recovery times.
- Provide multidisciplinary care teams. Your dedicated team of health care professionals includes cardiologists, physical therapists, wound care specialists and other providers. We'll partner and support you every step of the way.
Peripheral Vascular Disease Diagnosis and Treatments
Detecting and treating PVD early can help prevent complications like trouble walking, non-healing sores on your legs or feet, and limb loss. About 20% of people with PVD don't have symptoms, so it pays to have a specialist who checks for it.
PVD tests and screening
Tests and screening used to diagnose PVD include:
- Ankle-brachial index (ABI). Your doctor measures blood pressure in your ankles and compares it to blood pressure in your arm at rest or after exercise.
- Doppler ultrasound. High-frequency sound waves create pictures of how blood flows through your vessels.
- Angiography. A high-contrast dye injected into your blood vessels makes your vessels and any blockages visible on a special x-ray.
- Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). MRA is a type of MRI test that lets your doctor see inside your blood vessels.
We tailor your treatment plan to your diagnosis and individual needs. It might include surgery, medicines, or other treatments like diet and lifestyle changes, physical therapy or wound-healing therapy.
We use minimally invasive surgical treatments whenever possible, which means less pain, minor scars and a faster recovery for you. Our surgeons are highly skilled in minimally invasive procedures for PVD, including:
- Angioplasty and stenting. A surgeon inserts a thin, hollow tube into the blocked artery and creates a larger opening so more blood can flow through.
- Endarterectomy. This surgery removes plaque buildup in your arteries and restores normal blood flow.
If needed, surgeons can also use a bypass procedure to reroute blood flow using a healthy vessel from another part of your body.
Medicine can help manage your symptoms and prevent further damage to your arteries. These might include:
- Blood thinners to help your blood flow easier.
- Medicine to relax the blood vessels and make them more flexible as blood pumps through.
- Cholesterol-lowering medicines to prevent further plaque from forming.
Our vascular care team includes:
- Physical therapy. A supervised exercise program helps improve blood flow, reduces pain and helps maintain mobility you might lose with many vascular diseases.
- Wound care services. Poor circulation may cause poor wound healing. But we have dedicated health care professionals and treatments that vastly improve healing rates.
Preventive Care: Catching PVD Early
A healthy lifestyle and preventive care are keys to preventing PVD or detecting it early. Luminis Health vascular specialists recommend:
- Having a yearly physical with your primary care physician to check for any signs or symptoms of PVD.
- Taking your medicines as directed.
- Eating a healthy diet to manage your blood pressure, blood sugar and weight.
- Not smoking.
- Getting regular exercise.