Peripheral artery disease (PAD), also called peripheral vascular disease (PVD), is a condition affecting the legs and sometimes the arms. It occurs when fatty plaque deposits collect in the blood vessels, causing them to become narrowed or blocked. If left untreated, PAD can lead to difficulty walking, complete immobility, and stroke.
Dignity Health’s Chandler Regional Medical Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center are nationally recognized leaders in heart and vascular care, offering a full range of services to diagnose, treat, and manage peripheral artery disease in Arizona. For the care you need, Find a Doctor today.
Peripheral Artery Disease Symptoms
Some people with PAD do not have symptoms. In those that do, the most common symptom is leg pain, caused by poor circulation.
Other symptoms may include:
- Feeling like your legs are cramping, aching, or heavy during periods of activity; pain goes away with rest
- Sores on the feet or lower legs that don’t heal well
- Bluish color in the feet or legs
- Legs that feel cooler than other parts of the body
- Poor hair growth on legs
- Erectile dysfunction
At Dignity Health, a vascular specialist can evaluate your symptoms through a variety of diagnostic procedures, such as a stress or blood tests, and create a personalized treatment plan that fits your needs.
During your evaluation, your doctor will review your medical history and perform a physical exam. Using a stethoscope, your doctor will listen to the blood as it moves through your legs. He or she may also check the pulse in your feet and blood pressure in your legs.
Peripheral Artery Disease Treatment at Dignity Health
The goal of treatment for peripheral artery disease is to stop plaque from continuing to accumulate in the arteries, and to reduce your symptoms.
Doctors at Dignity Health may recommend these PAD treatments:
- Lifestyle changes, including not smoking, following a heart-healthy diet, and regular exercise
- Medications for preventing the formation of blood clots, reducing cholesterol levels, and treating high blood pressure
- Surgery, such as stent placement, peripheral artery bypass surgery, and atherectomy (remove)s plaque buildup
Your doctor will recommend treatment based on the severity of your condition, your symptoms, and your preferences.
Prevention of Peripheral Artery Disease
You can take an active approach towards lowering your chances of developing PAD by following these steps:
- Not smoking
- Keeping a healthy weight
- Maintaining a diet low in salt, sugar, fat, and processed foods
- Controlling blood sugar if you have diabetes
Together with your doctor, you can prevent this condition by taking care of yourself and your heart. Try our online Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Tool to learn more.
Dignity Health offers personalized care and treatment for peripheral artery disease in Arizona, helping people live healthier, more active lives.