Peripheral Artery Disease


Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) happens when narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to your limbs. Peripheral artery disease (PAD), also known as peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is caused by plaque buildup in the arteries (arteriosclerosis), most commonly in the arteries of the legs.

Risk factors and symptoms

Risk factors include aging, diabetes, obesity, and smoking. 

Symptoms may include leg pain, particularly when walking or climbing stairs. Other symptoms include leg numbness or weakness and coldness in your lower leg or foot, especially compared with the other side.

Cure and treatment

Currently, there is no cure for this disease. However, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and smoking cessation are often enough to ease your symptoms. If these changes aren’t effective, medications or surgery may help.

PAD affects an estimated 8.5 million people in the United States and becomes more common with age. It greatly increases the risk of a sudden heart attack or stroke when present in the upper leg. Without proper treatment, people with PAD are likely to die within five years from a PAD-related heart attack or stroke. PAD also can lead to gangrene and amputation.

Endovascular specialists at Munson Medical Center use the latest techniques and technology to treat people with PAD. Anyone who has leg pain upon exertion should be evaluated early through diagnostic ultrasounds, CTs and MRI. 

Heart Services Are Nearby

If you have any symptoms of heart attack or stroke, call 911. Do not drive yourself to the hospital. EMTs can begin life-saving care immediately before you reach the hospital.

For more information, contact your primary care provider or Traverse Heart and Vascular at 800-637-4033.