Peripheral Vascular Disease in Richmond, Kentucky

Baptist Health Richmond: Peripheral Vascular Disease

Peripheral vascular disease affects blood flow in the legs and can be caused by multiple risk factors. Learn more about treatment options from Baptist Health.

Peripheral Vascular Disease in Richmond, Kentucky HealthTalks Transcript

Scott Cook, MD, Interventional Cardiology:
Vascular disease is a disease process that can involve any artery in the body. In peripheral vascular disease, we’re specifically talking about disease processes involving the arteries that go to the limbs and particularly the legs. The process usually begins with risk factors. When you have diabetes, you have high circulating glucose running throughout the arteries. In people who smoke products associated with nicotine, this can cause inflammation in the arteries.

Over time, that inflammation develops into a plaque. If that plaque continues to grow, it can start to narrow blood flow in a certain vessel. Whenever blood flow gets compromised, for example to a leg or limb, you start getting the symptoms of claudication, which is a sign of peripheral vascular disease.

That basically involves pain in the extremity, especially when you’re trying to move around or ambulate. Patients, typically when they’re walking, start to notice that they get severe cramping or discomfort in the leg. That’s a pretty specific sign for arterial disease or blockage in those arteries that are feeding the leg.

For treating peripheral arterial disease, we have several percutaneous options where we insert a catheter. That’s a minimally invasive type of surgery. There’s no incision typically involved, and the recovery is usually fairly quick. Usually, by the end of the day, patients are able to get up and walk around and be discharged home.

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