Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) most often affects the feet and legs, causing blood circulation problems. If you’ve got leg pain, swelling, and other symptoms of PVD, visit double board-certified radiologist Yosef Golowa, MD, FSIR. Dr. Golowa specializes in minimally invasive treatments like balloon angioplasty and stenting to restore blood flow and reduce PVD symptoms at his practice in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, New York. Call Dr. Golowa’s office today or book an appointment online to benefit from expert PVD treatment.
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) affects blood circulation, mainly in your legs, ankles, and feet. It happens when something blocks a blood vessel or you have abnormalities in the arteries, veins, or lymphatic vessels.
The primary cause of PVD is atherosclerosis. This common condition develops when plaque builds up in your arteries. Plaque is a mixture of cholesterol and particles like calcium from your blood that make a fatty substance. Plaque sticks to the artery walls, narrowing the blood vessels.
Narrowed arteries reduce blood flow, preventing vital oxygen and nutrients from reaching your legs and feet. The tissues become weaker and can break down as a result. Atherosclerosis in the heart arteries causes coronary artery disease (CAD) and heart attacks. In the neck (carotid) arteries, it can cause a stroke.
PVD causes also include leg and foot trauma and infections.
PVD develops over time, so symptoms appear gradually. They often include:
PVD also causes claudication — pain typical of atherosclerosis in the legs. Claudication is aching leg pain and cramps when you walk that ease off when you rest. Without treatment, claudication gets worse, so you feel the pain constantly.
PVD treatments include medications like statins that reduce cholesterol and anticoagulants that stop your blood from clotting too much. Making changes in your life can also be vital. Depending on your current health and habits, that might mean losing weight, quitting smoking, and/or exercising more.
For advanced PVD that isn’t manageable with medication, Dr. Golowa offers balloon angioplasty. Angioplasty is a catheterization procedure that widens your leg arteries. Dr. Golowa makes a small cut in an artery, passing a thin, flexible tube called a catheter along to the blockage. Dr. Golowa inflates a tiny balloon on its tip when the catheter is in position.
The balloon flattens the plaque against the artery wall to increase blood flow. Dr. Golowa might also fit a stent — a mesh tube that keeps the artery open. Some (drug-eluting stents) release medication that prevents new plaque buildup. Alternatively, Dr. Golowa can use specialized instruments to remove the plaque (atherectomy).
Call Yosef Golowa, MD FSIR, today or book an appointment online to benefit from expert PVD treatment.