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 and/or feet.
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.