What is peripheral arterial disease?
Narrowing or blockage of the arteries that supply blood to the legs is known as peripheral arterial disease.
What are the symptoms of peripheral arterial disease?
- Pain in the legs with walking – known as claudication
- Foot pain
- Foot and leg ulcers
- Gangrene of the toes and foot
What causes peripheral arterial disease?
The most common cause of peripheral arterial disease is atherosclerosis, otherwise know as hardening of the arteries. Factors such as smoking, high blood pressure or diabetes damages arteries leading to inflammation and the build up of cholesterol within the wall of the artery forming an atherosclerotic plaque. The plaque can narrow and block the artery reducing the blood flow to the legs.
What are the risk factors for peripheral arterial disease?
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Male gender
- Family history
How will my peripheral vascular disease be assessed?
- History and examination
- Duplex ultrasound
- Pressure measurements
- Treadmill walking test
- CT angiography
- Catheter angiography
What treatments are available for peripheral vascular disease?
- Balloon angioplasty or stenting
- Bypass surgery
- Surgery to remove plaque (endarterectomy)