Vascular disease refers to
the network of blood vessels that carry blood throughout the body. Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD, or sometimes
referred to as Peripheral Vascular Disease or PVD) refers to a buildup of
plaque on the lining of the arterial walls (atherosclerosis). These deposits
can cause a narrowing of the arteries, and therefore decrease the blood flow
through the arteries of the legs or arms. This can cause ischemia, or lack of
blood supply and oxygenation to the muscles and tissue, most often in the legs
Risk factors for PAD include:
hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, and
being physically inactive.
If diagnosed with significant
PAD the vascular anatomy must be evaluated. This is typically done with one or
more types of vascular imaging, including ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI to
specifically look at the circulation.
Most vascular interventions
are performed in an outpatient setting and are done with local anesthetic and
light sedation. This will be decided by your physician after discussing the
options with you.
Washington Hospital performs
more vascular interventions and surgeries than any other hospital in the area. Vascular
intervention can enable limb salvage and thereby avoid amputation of toes,
foot, and leg. As one of the busiest vascular centers in the Bay Area, Washington
performs close to 1,000 procedures a year.