Peripheral Vascular Disease - Experience

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What is peripheral vascular disease?

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) refers to diseases of the blood vessels (arteries and veins) located outside the heart and brain. While there are many causes of peripheral vascular disease, doctors commonly use the term peripheral vascular disease to refer to peripheral artery disease (peripheral arterial disease, PAD), a condition that develops when the arteries that supply blood to the internal organs, arms, and legs become completely or partially blocked as a result of atherosclerosis.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Mosoko, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 05

I had calf pain for 4 years. I smoked for 30 years, not heavily but enough to ruin my life. My family doctor thought I had flat feet. Thanks to an alert podiatrist, I had ultrasounds revealing almost total arterial blockage on my right leg. I had a double bypass for peripheral vascular disease 1.5 years ago, and able to walk for the past year. The angioplasty didn't work for me. I'm on the treadmill for 45 minutes and every second day 20 minutes cycling and 25 minutes treadmill at my gym. I don't limp for short distances, but my calves still kill me. My surgeon said shortly after surgery I'd be lucky if my leg lasts 5 years, and I'm going to keep working hard to prove him wrong! I tell everyone who will listen, this is what smoking did for me. What a fool!

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Comment from: epare, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 14

I have always been active and walked a few miles a day up to about 5 years ago when my ability to walk progressively decreased to the point where I could only walk about 50 feet before having to stop from pain in my calves. I was diagnosed with PAD (peripheral artery disease) and told I had 90 percent blockage of the left femoropopliteal artery with 80 percent blockage of the right. Because the main blockage was behind the left knee, I could not have a stent but was able to benefit from angioplasty. I was morbidly obese, type II diabetic, ex-smoker, and had too much cholesterol. I lost the weight down to a BMI of 25, got my cholesterol down to better-than-normal, and controlled my diabetes with exercise and diet. Claudication re-occurred last year and I had another angioplasty, this time in the right leg, still no stent. I am currently still experiencing mild claudication but am forcing myself to walk 6 miles per day carrying a pack. I still have a normal BMI, normal cholesterol, and normal blood sugar levels. I have not beat PAD but feel I can control it for a few years more.

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