Peripheral vascular disease, known as PVD for short, affects blood vessels in parts of the body other than the heart and brain. It is characterized by a narrowing of the vessels and often affects blood vessels in the legs, arms, stomach, or kidneys. As the blood vessels become narrower, the arteries can become blocked or weakened.
Peripheral vascular disease is often associated with peripheral artery disease, which is the most common form of PVD. Peripheral artery disease is the result of fatty material building up in the arteries, which can block blood flow through the artery. This same type of buildup is known as coronary heart disease when it occurs in the arteries of the heart.
Dr. Ruiz diagnoses peripheral vascular disease through a combination of a medical history, physical exam, and various tests. One simple test that helps Dr. Ruiz diagnose PVD is the ankle brachial index, in which he checks the blood pressure in the arteries of your ankles using an inflatable blood pressure cuff and a handheld ultrasound device. If additional imaging tests are needed, Dr. Ruiz recommends them.
You can also be on the lookout for these symptoms of peripheral vascular disease:
The first step to treating peripheral vascular disease is lifestyle changes, medication or both. Dr. Ruiz recommends a treatment plan that’s best for your specific case. Lifestyle changes can include smoking cessation, controlling diabetes, controlling blood pressure, physical activity, and changes in your diet. Medication options can include antiplatelet agents, statins, or medicine for high blood pressure.
In some cases, Dr. Ruiz may recommend surgery to treat the disease. The best way to discover which treatment plan is right for you is to work directly with Dr. Ruiz. Schedule an appointment using the online booking system to begin the process.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!