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Peripheral Vascular Disease Specialist

Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates

Electrophysiology & Cardiology located in Phoenix, AZ & Tempe, AZ

Peripheral vascular disease primarily affects the blood vessels in your legs, reducing circulation and leading to painful ulcers. Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates offers cutting-edge diagnostic services and treatments for peripheral vascular disease to improve your circulation and help you avoid complications like gangrene and amputation. Call one of their seven convenient locations in Phoenix, Avondale, Tempe, Chandler, Sun City, Dewey, or Prescott Valley, Arizona, to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.

Peripheral Vascular Disease Q & A

What is peripheral vascular disease?

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a term that covers any condition involving the blood vessels outside of your heart and brain.

Atherosclerosis is the most common reason why you'd have peripheral vascular disease. Consequently, the term is often used interchangeably with peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a condition that's due to atherosclerosis in the arteries away from your heart.

How does atherosclerosis cause peripheral vascular disease?

Atherosclerosis develops when plaque, a fatty material composed primarily of cholesterol, builds up in your arteries. Outside your heart, this most often happens in the peripheral blood vessels of your legs, causing PAD.

Plaque builds up slowly, often taking years to reach a point where the arteries get narrow enough to restrict blood flow to your legs. Severe PAD can lead to a blockage or blood clot in the artery that stops blood from flowing, potentially resulting in tissue death and amputation.

What symptoms does peripheral vascular disease cause?

Peripheral vascular disease symptoms may vary depending on the cause of the condition and how severe it is. If you have PAD, the most common form of peripheral vascular disease, you're likely to experience symptoms in your legs such as:

  • Cold feet
  • Bluish skin discoloration
  • Leg and foot swelling
  • Leg pain
  • Skin discoloration
  • Open wounds (ulcers)

The pain PAD causes is known as claudication. It's typically worse when you're walking and eases when you sit down.

What treatments can help with peripheral vascular disease?

The treatment your provider at Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates recommends for your peripheral vascular disease is likely to include making changes to your diet and lifestyle. These could include weight loss, cutting down on foods high in unhealthy fats and carbohydrates, quitting smoking, and getting more exercise.

Lifestyle changes could be all you need if you get help for peripheral vascular disease in the early stages. If your condition is more advanced, you might need medication such as cholesterol-lowering statins to stop your atherosclerosis from getting any worse.

Would I need surgery for peripheral vascular disease?

If lifestyle changes and medications aren't sufficient to address your peripheral vascular disease, you might benefit from an endovascular intervention such as balloon angioplasty and stenting.

Angioplasty uses a catheter, a narrow, flexible tube that your provider at Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates inserts into an artery, very often in your groin. Using image guidance technology, your provider guides the catheter along the artery until it reaches the treatment site.

Next, they inflate a tiny balloon that flattens the plaque against your artery walls, and then they fit a mesh tube called a stent in place to keep the artery open.

If you're experiencing claudication or any other symptoms of peripheral vascular disease, get an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment by calling Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates today or book an appointment online.