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Diseases of the blood vessels beyond the heart and brain are referred to as peripheral artery disease (PAD). An accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries is the most common cause. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is also known as a peripheral vascular disease (PVD) (which includes both arteries and veins).

PAD damages blood arteries, narrowing them and reducing blood flow to the arms, kidneys, stomach, and, most commonly, the legs.

Physical activity can significantly improve symptoms, despite the fact that the disease can have dangerous implications.

What Is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)?

Plaque buildup in the leg arteries that deliver oxygen and nutrient-rich blood from your heart to your arms and legs is known as a peripheral arterial disease (PAD), also known as peripheral vascular disease or peripheral artery disease.

A smooth lining avoids blood clotting and facilitates steady blood flow in arteries, which are shaped like hollow tubes. Plaque (composed of fat, cholesterol, and other substances) that accumulates gradually inside your arterial walls narrows your arteries when you have peripheral artery disease. Atherosclerosis is another name for this plaque.

The exterior of many plaque deposits is hard, while the inner is soft. Platelets (disc-shaped particles in your blood that help it clot) can come to the place where the hard surface cracks or tears, allowing them to clot. Blood clots can form around the plaque, narrowing the artery.

Blood can not get through to supply organs and other tissues if arteries become restricted or clogged by plaque or a blood clot. The tissues below the blockage suffer damage and finally die (gangrene). Your toes and feet are the most common places where this happens.

The rate at which PAD advances differs from individual to individual and is determined by a variety of factors, including the location of the plaque in your body and your overall health.

What Are the Symptoms of PAD?

Many patients with peripheral artery disease have mild or no symptoms, although other people have leg pain when walking (claudication).

Claudication causes muscle soreness or cramping in your legs or arms that is induced by activity, such as walking but goes away after a few minutes of rest. The position of the clogged or narrowed artery determines the location of the pain. The most prevalent site of pain is the calf.

Claudication can range in severity from slight discomfort to immobilizing pain. You may find it difficult to walk or engage in other forms of physical activity if you have severe claudication.

The following are symptoms of peripheral artery disease:

  1. After certain activities, such as walking or ascending stairs, you may have painful cramping in one or both hips, thighs, or calf muscles.
  2. Numbness or weakness in the legs
  3. Coldness in your lower leg or foot, particularly on one side compared to the other
  4. Unhealing sores on your toes, feet, or legs
  5. The color of your legs has changed.
  6. On your feet and legs, you may notice hair loss or a slowing of hair development.
  7. Toenail growth will be slower.
  8. Legs with a lustrous sheen
  9. In your legs or feet, there is no or a feeble pulse.
  10. Men’s erectile dysfunction
  11. When stitching, writing, or doing other manual duties, you may have soreness and cramping in your arms.

What Are the Causes of PAD?

  • Atherosclerosis is a common cause of peripheral artery disease. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which fatty deposits build up on the inside walls of your arteries, reducing blood flow.
  • Although most people associate atherosclerosis with the heart, the disease can and often does affect arteries throughout the body. Peripheral artery disease happens when it affects the arteries that carry blood to your limbs.
  • Blood vessel inflammation, injury to your limbs, the atypical structure of your ligaments or muscles, or radiation exposure is less prevalent causes of peripheral artery disease.

How Diagnosis of Peripheral Artery Disease Is Done?

Diagnosis of Peripheral Artery Disease can be done in a variety of methods, but if the disease is suspected, the doctor will first examine the patient’s legs.

The following are some of the tests your doctor may use to diagnose peripheral artery disease:

  1. Ankle-Brachial Index
  2. Blood testing, angiography, and ultrasound scan
  3. Doppler and duplex ultrasound imaging
  4. Angiography by computed tomography (CT)
  5. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIA)
  6. Angiography

Peripheral Artery Disease that goes undiagnosed or untreated can lead to painful symptoms, loss of a limb, an increased risk of coronary artery disease, and carotid atherosclerosis (a narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the brain).

Because persons with Peripheralartery disease have a higher risk of heart attack and stroke, experts advise people at risk to talk to their doctor about it so that it can be diagnosed and treated early.

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How to Cure Peripheral Artery Disease?

Peripheral artery disease treatment has two major goals:

  • Manage symptoms like leg discomfort so you can get back to doing things you enjoy.
  • Reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke by slowing the growth of atherosclerosis throughout your body.

You might be able to achieve these goals by making lifestyle modifications, especially if you are dealing with peripheral artery disease early on. Quitting smoking is the single most essential thing you can do to lower your risk of problems if you smoke. Walking or practising other forms of exercise on a regular basis, as part of supervised exercise instruction, can significantly improve your symptoms.

You will almost certainly require extra medical care if you have signs or symptoms of peripheral artery disease. Preventing blood clots, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and controlling pain and other symptoms are all things your doctor may recommend.


  1. Cholesterol-Lowering Medication
  2. High Blood-Pressure Medications
  3. Medication to Control Blood Sugar
  4. Medication to Prevent Blood Clots
  5. Symptoms-relief medications

In some circumstances, angioplasty or surgery may be required to treat claudication caused by peripheral arterial disease. Other prefered surgeries done to cure PAD are the following:

  1. Angioplasty
  2. Bypass Surgery
  3. Thrombolytic Therapy

To improve the distance you can walk painlessly, your doctor will most likely suggest a supervised exercise training programme. Regular activity helps your body use oxygen more efficiently, which improves Peripheral artery disease symptoms in a variety of ways.


Peripheral Artery Disease raises the risk of heart attack and stroke, therefore it’s critical to get it identified very away. Perspective is influenced by a variety of factors, however, following the lifestyle recommendations above can considerably improve your outlook.

Some cases of Peripheral artery disease can be treated with just a change in lifestyle and medicines.

The Most Important Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How Long Can You Live With Peripheral Vascular Disease?

A: If left undiagnosed and untreated, one in every five patients with PAD will have a heart attack, stroke, or die within five years. In addition to leg muscle pain, discomfort during activity, and loss of mobility and independence, untreated PAD can have other serious consequences.

Q: Is Peripheral Artery Disease a Death Sentence?

A: This disease is life-threatening and can lead to death. Lower-body peripheral artery disease is frequently a warning indicator. Other arteries, such as those that supply the heart or the brain, can accumulate plaque in a similar way.

Q: What Are the Stages of PAD?


  • Asymptomatic (Stage 0)
  • Mild claudication (stage 1)
  • Moderate claudication (stage 2)
  • Severe claudication (stage 3)
  • Pain relief (Stage 4)

Q: How Long Does PAD Surgery Take?

A: Your blood can now flow freely where it is needed, bypassing the barrier. You will not be awake for this surgery, which takes 2 to 5 hours. Typically, you will spend 3 to 7 days in the hospital.

Q: How Many Days Rest Are Needed After Angioplasty?

A: The average recovery period for angioplasty is two weeks, however, this can vary depending on your health. Stick to Your Medication Regimen: It’s critical to follow your medication schedule. Stopping your medicine too soon can put you at risk for a recurrence of cardiac condition.

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