Peripheral vascular disease

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is often characterized by 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 the amount of blood flow to the limbs and decreases the oxygen and nutrients available to the tissue. 

Clots may form on the artery walls, decreasing the inner size of the vessel and potentially blocking off major arteries. Organs supplied by these vessels, such as the brain, heart and legs, may not receive adequate blood flow for ordinary function. However, the legs and feet are most commonly affected.

Treatment options

There are many ways we can work to slow or stop progression of peripheral vascular disease. There are medicines that can help. We may discuss a medical plan for things you can do at home. Without treatment, peripheral vascular disease can lead to foot or leg amputation or even premature death. 

With Spectrum Health experts close to home, you're in the best hands for treatment. Get started here.

Percutaneous coronary intervention (angioplasty / stent placement)
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An angioplasty is a less invasive procedure that opens a clogged artery with a small balloon. This can be done through the wrist (radial) or the groin (femoral) artery. Typically this procedure includes the placement of stents.

Bypass surgery
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This surgery creates a bypass graft using a healthy blood vessel from another part of the body or a synthetic tube to reroute blood flow.

Cardiac rehabilitation
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Spectrum Health offers the area’s largest and most comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation program for patients who have recently experienced a major cardiovascular episode or treatment.

Limb care and preservation clinic
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The Limb Care and Preservation Clinic focuses on wound healing, vascular and endovascular therapy, and podiatric surgery. Our goal is to preserve as much function in limbs as possible.

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