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Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a slow, progressive circulation disorder. It can involve disease in any of the blood vessels outside the heart or the arteries, veins, or lymphatic vessels. If you have PVD, the organs that get blood from these vessels—such as the brain, legs, and heart—may not receive enough blood flow. PVD most commonly affects the legs and feet. People who have coronary artery disease often have PVD. Trauma or infection can also cause PVD, and so can irregular anatomy.  

In PVD, we often see a narrowing of the vessels that carry blood to the leg and arm muscles. The most common cause is atherosclerosis—the buildup of plaque inside the artery wall. Plaque reduces blood flow and decreases the amount of oxygen and nutrients available to the tissue. Clots may form on the artery walls, which decrease the size of the vessel and threaten the major arteries.

Some of the conditions associated with PVD that affect the veins include varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, and deep vein thrombosis (also known as DVT). An example of PVD that affects the lymphatic vessels is lymphedema. When PVD occurs in the arteries outside the heart, it may be called peripheral arterial disease (PAD), though the terms are often used interchangeably. 

At Hackensack University Medical Center, our comprehensive treatment program for people with PVD includes a complete assessment and development of an individualized treatment plan. Your plan is based on individual factors such as age, general health and medical history, your symptoms, extent of the disease and its expected course, your preferences regarding treatment. There are a variety of treatment options ranging from lifestyle modifications, to medications, to aggressive treatment of certain conditions that may make your PVD worse (such as diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol), to surgical procedures. For some people, we might be able to create a prevention plan to help lessen the progression of PVD once it has been diagnosed. You and your doctor will decide together what is the best path to follow.


Schedule an appointment today by calling 855.424.WELL (9355)

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