Peripheral vascular diseases like Raynaud's phenomenon and peripheral arterial disease affect the blood vessels outside of your heart and brain. If you have symptoms of peripheral vascular disease, board-certified cardiologist Georges Feghali, MD, of HeartPlace can help. At locations in Dallas and Corsicana, Texas, Dr. Feghali can diagnose your symptoms and prepare a suitable treatment program. Call HeartPlace today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) describes conditions that affect your circulatory system but exclude your heart and brain. The term peripheral vascular disease is frequently used to mean peripheral arterial disease (PAD). However, strictly speaking, there are differences.
PAD is one of the main types of peripheral vascular disease, but there are other forms of PVD like Raynaud's phenomenon, which affects the circulation in your hands and feet.
Peripheral vascular disease can develop as a complication of conditions like:
Atherosclerosis is the most likely cause of PAD. This common problem results from plaque collecting on the inside of the arteries, most often affecting the legs.
Plaque is mostly cholesterol with tiny amounts of calcium and other waste products. It sticks to the interior of your blood vessels, which then become narrower and harder.
Symptoms of peripheral vascular disease vary according to which condition you have. For example, Raynaud's phenomenon can cause painfully cold hands and feet, while PAD's most defining symptom is claudication.
Claudication is a feeling of heaviness and pain in your legs when you're walking that goes away when you rest. At a more advanced stage, claudication fails to ease up when resting.
With peripheral vascular disease, you may develop skin discoloration and leg swelling, and arterial ulcers could eventually form. Ulcers are open, treatment-resistant sores that can become infected, leading to tissue death (gangrene) and possibly amputation.
Medications can be useful when treating peripheral vascular disease. Dr. Feghali might prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs to stop plaque buildup from worsening if you have PAD.
Blood pressure medication helps if you have Raynaud's by dilating your blood vessels to improve blood flow.
Peripheral angioplasty might be necessary for advanced cases of PAD. This procedure widens the arteries using a catheter — a slim tube that Dr. Feghali feeds along the artery. When it's in position, he inflates a small balloon that presses the plaque against the artery walls.
Dr. Feghali may also leave a mesh tube called a stent in the treated artery to keep it open.
If you have symptoms of peripheral vascular disease, contact HeartPlace for prompt diagnosis and effective treatment. Call the office today or book an appointment online.