What is Vascular Disease?
Peripheral vascular disease is a build-up of plaque in the arteries outside of your heart (peripheral arteries) that reduces the flow of blood. As a result, some parts of your body don’t get the oxygen they need. Frequently, this narrowing of the arteries called atherosclerosis is not confined to one artery but may involve arteries in other areas as well. Some of the more commonly affected peripheral areas are the arteries in the legs, arms, kidneys and neck.
Numerous problems can result from vascular disease – ranging from leg pain during physical activity to deterioration of skin leading to ulcers and gangrene. If a condition is severe, it may require open vascular surgery
or endovascular interventions, such as angioplasty or stents. In addition, weakening of the arteries, particularly of the aorta, can result in aneurysms. Rupture of these weakened areas may cause bleeding and even death.
How Can Vascular Disease Be Treated?
Aortic aneurysms can be repaired with both stent-grafts and open surgery. Acute leg swelling due to blood clots may need treatment with drugs or interventions. Varicose veins or leg ulcers due to vein problems may need intensive medical treatment, surgery or other interventions. If a condition is severe, it may require open vascular surgery or endovascular interventions, such as angioplasty or stents.
Learn more about treatment options on our Services & Treatments page.
More information is available on vascular conditions, tests, and treatments at VascularWeb.org.