Peripheral Vascular Disease

What is peripheral vascular disease?

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) or also known as peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is the narrowing of blood vessels outside the heart.

What are the causes of peripheral vascular disease?

It is caused by the build-up of plaque in arteries, called atherosclerosis.

Our vascular surgeons provide the full range of vascular treatments for all peripheral vascular diseases and conditions from blocked arteries to aneurysms and strokes. You can rest assured that you will be given holistic care by our dedicated team of surgeons and nurses.

What are the symptoms of peripheral vascular disease?

Often, people with PVD do not develop symptoms. Symptoms that may occur include:

  • Numbness or aching leg muscles especially during physical exertion
  • Weak pulses in the limbs
  • Pale or bluish skin in the limbs
  • Coldness or decreased in skin temperature at the affected body part
  • Poor healing of wounds on the limbs
  • Hair loss on the legs
  • Impotence

What are the risk factors of peripheral vascular disease?

  • Medical history and family history
  • Physical examination
  • Ultrasound: Is used to help your specialist see how blood flows through your veins using sound waves
  • Arteriography
  • Angiography
  • Magnetic resonance angiogram: Using magnetic resonance imaging to produce images of blood vessels

How is peripheral vascular disease treated?

  • Medications to increase blood flow, reduce claudication (cramping in limbs caused by obstruction of blood vessels), lower cholesterol levels, or reduce blood clotting may be prescribed to treat PVD
  • An invasive angiogram is the insertion of a catheter to introduce dye into the arteries to make them visible on an X-ray
  • Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty: It is done by inserting a catheter and inflating a balloon to enlarge a narrowed space in the artery. The specialist may insert a stent into the affected area
  • Bypass surgery or endarterectomy: This is especially for patients with lesions are challenging to treat with an angioplasty

What are the lifestyle changes needed to control the risk of peripheral vascular disease?

  • Regular exercise
  • Proper nutrition (low fat, high fibre diet)
  • Quit smoking
  • Manage risk factors e.g., diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Keep your weight in check
  • Take your medications as directed
  • Take good care of your injuries/wounds


  1. Peripheral vascular disease. Available at [Accessed on 9 May 2022]
  2. Peripheral vascular disease. Available at [Accessed on 9 May 2022]
  3. Peripheral vascular disease: diagnosis and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2006;73(11):1971-6.
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