Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is the most common type of peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and is similar to coronary artery disease. Just like coronary artery disease it occurs as a result of plaque buildup. With PAD the narrowing of blood vessels from plaque occurs in veins and artieres outside of the heart and brain—most common in the legs. Plaque deposits in the vascular system can build up in the arms, abdomen and legs.
If the deposits are severe enough, they can block blood flow, cause ulcers and tissue death. If PAD is left untreated, it can lead to amputation of the foot or leg. PAD is often a sign of narrowed arteries in the heart and brain, which can lead to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and transient ischemic attacks (a transient stroke lasting a few minutes while blood supply to the brain is briefly interrupted). Early detection for PAD is essential.
Symptoms of PAD vary, depending on the affected area, but may include:
- Cramping or fatigue in the legs while walking.
- Non-healing sores on the feet or legs.
- Pain in the feet while in bed.
- Numbness and tingling.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, consult a MemorialCare Physician partner.
Risk Factors & Prevention
Peripheral Vascular Disease Screenings
MemorialCare provides low cost, noninvasive vascular screenings to detect PAD.
Follow Up Care
- If you smoke, quit.
- Regular exercise.
- Control high cholesterol.
- Control high blood pressure.
- Control diabetes.