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Peripheral Vascular Disease




Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) (aka peripheral arterial disease PAD or "hardening of the arteries"), refers to the obstruction of arteries not involving the heart or brain. PVD is due to atherosclerosis, a longterm, lowgrade degenerative process of the arteries,  leading to stenosis (narrowing), embolism (blockage), or thrombus (Clot) formation. It is, essentially, the ageing process, leading to tissue loss but can be accelerated by


  • Genetic disposition (high cholesterol etc)

  • hypertension

  • Diabetes

  • Smoking


If it develops slowly, then the body can accommodate the loss of blood supply but tissue function declines, with loss of kidney function, thinning of skin, pain on exertion ('claudication',  similar to angina of the heart) etc.  Sudden blockage causes severe problems such as severe pain and loss of function such as stroke or heart attack. 


Treatment depends on thorough assessment at consultation with diagnostic scans such as duplex ultrasound or CT angiography or MR angiography. 


If intervention is required it will consist of;

1. lifestyle changes

            -increase excercise, stop smoking, sort out cholesterol etc, are likely to be necessary

2. improve blood supply by


              -excimer laser atherectomy

              -bypass surgery

              -surgery/interventional hybrid procedure may be appropriate 
























                   Video above shows blood flow after removal of blockage





For further information see the Patient Information & Aftercare Sheet - Click HERE


Additional Information on Peripheral Vascular Disease & Treatment

2012 NICE Guidance for Percutaneous laser atherectomy as an adjunct to balloon angioplasty- Click HERE


NICE Clinical Guidance - Lower limb peripheral arterial disease: diagnosis and management - Click HERE


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