Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) care

You don’t have to live with the pain or inconvenience of peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Rely on the Tyler Heart Institute's cardiovascular team to diagnose your condition and provide treatments that make you healthier and more comfortable.

What’s PVD?

PVD is a common condition that affects your circulation (blood flow). It happens when blood vessels outside the heart and brain are damaged, narrowed, or clogged. It’s usually caused by atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque (fat) in arteries and veins.

When PVD happens in the arms, abdomen, and legs, it’s called peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Signs of PVD

Because blood flow to the limbs (arms and legs) is blocked, PVD can cause:

  • Leg, hip, or foot pain, especially while walking, or cramping during exercise
  • Numbness or tingling, heaviness, or weakness of the legs and feet
  • Non-healing wounds or gangrene (dead tissue)
  • Skin changes, paleness, or hair loss

Sometimes, PVD doesn’t cause any symptoms.

PVD risk factors

You’re more likely to develop PVD if you:

  • Are 50 or older
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Don’t exercise
  • Have a family history of cardiovascular disease
  • Have diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol
  • Smoke

How PVD is diagnosed

Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of PVD, are older than 50, and have other risk factors. Early diagnosis makes treatment more effective and helps prevent future health problems, including heart attack or stroke.

Your doctor will perform a physical exam. To check for PVD, you may have certain diagnostic tests, such as:

Vascular disease treatment

Expect a care plan personalized to you, so it’s as effective as possible. Depending on your symptoms and other factors, your plan may include:

PVD procedures

If you and your cardiologist determine a procedure is the best choice for your condition, rest assured you’re in good hands. When possible, we’ll perform your treatment using minimally invasive techniques, so you have a faster, smoother recovery than traditional surgery.

You may have:

  • Angioplasty – Inserts a tiny balloon into a narrowed blood vessel to open it and restore blood flow
  • Bypass graft – Creates a detour (bypass) around a blocked artery
  • Thrombectomy – Removes a blood clot and improves blood flow
  • Thrombolysis – Delivers clot-dissolving medication through a catheter (thin tube) to directly treat dangerous blood clots
  • Vascular stent – Places a tiny metal coil in a narrowed blood vessel to reinforce a weak area and prevent it from closing

Specialized setting for care

Some procedures may take place in our Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. If you have a cardiac catheterization procedure to treat PVD, an interventional radiologist will use a catheter (long, thin, flexible tube) guided by imaging technology to treat a blockage.

How to make an appointment

You’ll need a referral from your doctor or a cardiologist to get care at Tyler Heart Institute. Talk to your primary care provider, search for a cardiologist, or contact us at (831) 625-4934.

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