Are you over the age of 50? Do you have a history of diabetes or smoking? Have you felt numbness in your legs recently? When you walk or climb stairs, do you get painful cramping in your hip, thigh, or calf muscles? Answering yes to the majority of these questions may indicate that you have Peripheral Vascular Disease refers to any disorder or disease of the circulatory system, not including your brain or heart.
In order to understand the details of Peripheral Vascular Disease, you need to know about the circulatory system. The system consists of two types of blood vessels: arteries and veins. Both of which are tubular structures that carry blood throughout your entire body. What is the difference between the two? Arteries carry oxygen and nutrient rich blood from your heart to your other organs and cells. Meanwhile, veins carry oxygen depleted blood and waste through your kidneys, liver, and lungs. The waste is filtered out and removed from your body. On the trip back to your heart, the venous blood is filled with oxygen in the lungs. Arteries and veins are connected by capillaries; small weblike vessels.
When discussing Peripheral Vascular Disease, Peripheral Artery Disease is important to mention. This is a subset of Peripheral Vascular Disease. Peripheral Artery Disease is triggered by Atherosclerosis, or “hardening of the arteries”. Atherosclerosis is the build-up of fatty material within the vessels that stiffen your arteries. This fatty material mixes with your calcium and scar tissues. Gradually over time your arteries become blocked, narrowed, or weakened. When your arteries become blocked or narrowed, they are not receiving enough blood and oxygen; which is referred to as Ischemia. Peripheral Artery Disease can cause severe damage, and even death. It is not to be taken lightly.
In the United States, Peripheral Vascular Disease as a whole is very common. Many times it is assumed that this disease is just a part of aging. Luckily, modern medicine has made surgery and other effective treatments available for Peripheral Vascular Disease. Getting treated medically for this disease is the best way to prevent it from worsening. However, only half of the people who have Peripheral Vascular Disease show symptoms. If you have diabetes, smoke, are overweight, and over 50 years old getting checked for PVD will greatly benefit you. It is smart to be proactive in your body’s well-being before it is too late.
Associates in General & Vascular Surgery can help determine if Peripheral Vascular Disease affects you. As well, they can help find the best procedure and/or treatment option for you. If you have any questions regarding Peripheral Vascular Disease, your can contact then at (239) 939-2616. Or you can visit their website at www.agvs21c.com.
Associates in General and Vascular Surgery is a Division of 21st Century Oncology.
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