Peripheral Vascular Disease

Get Treatment for Peripheral Vascular Disease at Houston Physicians’ Hospital and Lower Your Risk of Stroke or Heart Attack

According to research, one in every 20 Americans over the age of 50 suffers from peripheral vascular disease (PVD). As one of the most common blood circulation disorders, this condition affects the blood vessels that lie outside the heart including veins, arteries, and lymphatic vessels.

By causing vessels to narrow, block, and spasm, PVD decreases blood flow, putting patients at a higher risk of suffering from a stroke or heart attack. Research further shows that individuals with PVD are three times as likely to suffer from a life-threatening cardiovascular disorder.

Causes of Peripheral Vascular Disease

Common causes of the condition include:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Blood clots
  • Inflammation of the arteries
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol level
  • High blood pressure
  • Little to no regular exercise
  • Smoking
  • Drug abuse
  • Infection
  • Injury
  • Emotional stress

In addition, people who have a history of heart disease, live a sedentary lifestyle, don’t have a healthy diet, and adopt unhealthy coping mechanisms are more likely to develop the condition. In fact, people with unhealthy diets are three times as likely to develop the signs and symptoms of the condition at a relatively young age.

Symptoms of Peripheral Vascular Disease

PVD symptoms manifest themselves as a throbbing pain in the legs that may extend to specific regions of the calves, hips, and thighs. The onset of the symptoms is usually irregular and slow.

As the condition gradually develops, individuals may experience severe aches resulting from limited blood flow. In most cases, the symptoms worsen as individuals continue to indulge in minimal exercise and consume a high-calorie diet.

Common symptoms include:

  • Pain and weakness in the legs
  • Reduced hair growth
  • Discolored legs and arms
  • A numbing sensation in the muscles
  • Gangrene
  • Impotence
  • Brittle and thin skin on the legs and feet
  • Reduced mobility
  • Thick and opaque toenails
  • Wounds and ulcers that don’t heal
  • Buttock pain
  • Burning aches in the legs, feet, and toes

If the person suffers from the PVD symptoms—especially chronic pain—while in a resting position, they need to see a doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment. If left untreated, PVD can cause dead tissue and sudden coldness in the limbs, leading to heart attack, stroke and possibly amputation of the limb.

It’s important to catch the symptoms early and get diagnosed and treated by an expert cardiologist and heart surgeon.

Treatment for Peripheral Vascular Disease at the Heart and Vascular Solutions Center at Houston Physicians’ Hospital

The initial stages of diagnosis require one or more of the following tests:

  • Doppler ultrasound
  • Angiogram
  • Ankle-brachial index (ABI)
  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)
  • Photoplethysmography (PPG)
  • Reactive hyperemia test

Once the doctors have received the results and examined the patient’s condition through a physical exam, they will develop a treatment plan specifically for the patient.

Our team of cardiologists at the Heart and Vascular Solutions Center may access the following options, depending on the severity of the condition:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Cilostazol
  • Pentoxifylline
  • Vascular surgery
  • Balloon angioplasty
  • Atherectomy
  • Laser angioplasty
  • Stent

In most cases, the symptoms are effectively controlled without requiring surgery. Your doctor will schedule follow-up visits to track your progress to ensure that you are responding favorably to treatment.

Visit our website to find a cardiologist and vascular surgeon at our Heart and Vascular Solutions Center that’s right for you. You can get relief from the symptoms of PVD and prevent a future heart attack or stroke. Our team utilizes state-of-the-art technology, the latest software solutions, and extensive medical experience to help patients return to a healthy life. We serve patients across Southeast Texas—including South Houston, League City, Webster, Clear Lake, and Galveston, and surrounding towns.