Arterial Disease

Arterial disease in the legs

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) starts when your arteries begin to narrow, which then reduces blood flow to your legs and body. PAD affects 9% of the population, but will become symptomatic in only about a quarter of those people.

An artery is a hollow tube, which takes oxygenated blood away from the heart. Inside the artery, it has a smooth surface for the blood to travel over. Sometimes, blood can leave behind fatty deposits, known as plaque, in your arteries (atherosclerosis) which then sticks to the inside of the artery. These fatty deposits can then build up and start to narrow the artery. This is commonly known as occlusive disease.

Symptoms

When PAD starts to get worse and develop symptoms, people may develop leg pain when they walk. Leg pain can include muscle pain or cramping but can then disappear after rest. The pain can vary depending on the severity of the disease. Other symptoms can also include leg numbness, skin colour changes, a weakness of pulse in your legs or sores to your feet and toes that will not heal.

Generally, you are able to treat PAD by stopping smoking, doing exercise and adopting a healthy and balanced diet. However, if symptoms do persist, we are able to offer a range of treatments, both with medication and surgery:

Medication

Most people with PAD are treated using medication. This can involve taking:

Surgery

For patients where medication has not been effective, surgery may be required to treat your symptoms. This can either be:

 

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