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  • Dr Amol Lahoti

10 Things You Need To Know About Peripheral Vascular Disease

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

What is Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)?

Does your leg pain or become cramped while you walk or climb stairs? And when you stop, it gradually goes away. This is called intermittent claudication. With PVD, the vessels that carry pure oxygenated blood to your body-leg becomes narrowed or blocked. If PVD is not treated, leg and foot tissue may die, turn blackish slowly. This is called gangrene of leg.


Diabetic foot ulcer occurs when there is a breakdown of the skin leading to exposure of underlying soft tissues. The nerve and vessel commonly become damaged in diabetics leading to the diabetic foot.






What are the risk factors for PVD?

Risk factors for PVD include smoking, tobacco consumption, old age, obesity, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, and hyperviscosity.


What causes PVD?

As you age, plaque (build-up of fat or other materials) causes narrowing of vessels. The most common contributing and aggravating factor is diabetes, hypertension, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.



The following precautions/ suggestions need to be followed by those who are suffering from diabetic foot.


Inspect your feet

Check your feet and toes and especially area between toes. If you notice any sores, cuts, blisters or bruises, contact your doctor immediately.

Wash Feet Regularly

Regularly wash your feet with water and mild soap. Hot water can cause damage, hence feel the temperature with your hand


Dry your feet & Avoid Going Barefoot.

Infection can occur in wet areas, so dry your feet regularly. Avoid going barefoot as there is a high risk of small cuts — these cuts you might not notice till they become infected.

Wear Proper Fitting Footwear

Select shoes that come with good coverage of your foot. Special diabetic footwear may sometimes be needed.


How can it be diagnosed-detected?

A simple Doppler ultrasound can diagnose it. If there is suspicion of PVD, CT angiography or diagnostic catheter angiography can detect and locate the blocked-narrowed vessel.


How is it treated?

Lifestyle modifications like quitting smoking, controlling diabetes-sugar and regular exercise. Medications like blood thinners and cholesterol-lowering drugs may be required.

If severe or there is a diabetic foot with gangrene, peripheral balloon angioplasty of leg and stenting may be required.


Why is PVD a wake-up call?

Peripheral Vascular Disease, or PVD, is sometimes a signal that the patient is having more extensive problems such as heart disease. So don’t ignore it.


How long will I need to be hospitalised for angioplasty?


Angioplasty is a one-day procedure, and you will be discharged by the next day. The procedure is performed under local anaesthesia, and no general anaesthesia is required.


Does angioplasty involve cuts or sutures? What can I expect after leg angioplasty?

Leg Angioplasty is a minimally invasive advanced universally accepted technique, done through a pinhole and involves no cuts or sutures or general anaesthesia. The patient is able to walk from the next day.

After leg angioplasty and stenting, your rest-night pain in legs will gradually decrease. Also, you will be able to walk more distance than previously. Those having gangrene of leg, their wound will heal after wound cleaning- gangrene amputation.


What is leg angioplasty success rate?

It is fairly good; however, long term success depends on many factors like your blood sugar control, how healthy lifestyle practice you have, if you are taking blood thinner advised by your doctor. For this problem, at our endovascularexperts, we ask our patient for regular follow up to detect the early treatable cause and to alter tablets if needed depending on blood reports.


Why will I have to undergo leg balloon angioplasty if I need amputation for gangrene?

Angioplasty is an integral part of gangrene wound management as amputation will remove the dead gangrenous part, but if closed - blocked vessel –artery is not opened with angioplasty or stenting, amputation wound won’t heal and the patient might need to undergo higher-level amputation for gangrene that may follow non-healing. As leg angioplasty is a simple, minimal invasive suture-less procedure with a good outcome, it is recommended for blocked vessel apart from amputation for gangrene foot.







How We Can Help You?

Angioplasty can be a big decision and we can address any questions you have. At Endovascularexperts, we are trained to perform angioplasty and diabetic foot care. Being the largest endovascular group in the country, we have treated thousand’s of patients over last decade, If you wish to speak our experienced specialists, you can contact us at 9971121273 or find a center near you at www.endovascularexperts.in

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