Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)

Phoenix Heart -  - Cardiologist

Phoenix Heart

Cardiologists located throughout Greater Phoenix, AZ

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) causes your blood flow to be compromised and can increase your risk for varicose veins and blood clots. The medical team at Phoenix Heart is experienced at the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of peripheral vascular diseases, including peripheral artery disease. For an expert consultation and treatment plan, call or book an appointment with a Phoenix Heart office in Glendale, Goodyear, Anthem, Buckeye, or Black Canyon City, Arizona.

Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) Q & A

What is Peripheral Vascular Disease?

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a term that refers to several conditions that affect blood flow through the arteries, veins, capillaries, and lymph vessels located away from the heart itself. PVD particularly affects the extremities, most often the legs.

Types of PVD include:

  • Varicose and spider veins
  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Carotid artery disease
  • Deep vein thrombosis, or other blood clots


Peripheral vascular diseases cause compromised blood flow through narrowing, inflammation, spasm, and blockage of the veins. PVD is progressive, and worsens over time, if not treated.

What Causes PVD?

Atherosclerosis, or narrowing and hardening of the arteries, is a leading contributing factor for PVD. Coronary artery disease and diabetes also place you at higher risk of having this condition.

Other risk factors that contribute to the development of PVD are:

  • Smoking or tobacco use
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Family history of heart disease, PVD, or diabetes


Some of these factors can be addressed with a healthy lifestyle, decreasing your PVD symptoms and your chances of long-term complications.

What are Symptoms of PVD?

For many with peripheral vascular disease, there are few or no symptoms at all. This makes regular checkups and screenings for compromised blood flow important to your overall cardiac health.

If you have symptoms of PVD, you may experience:

  • Slow-healing wounds
  • Sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction
  • Hair loss on legs or arms
  • Weak pulses in legs and feet
  • Heaviness, numbness, or tingling of extremities
  • Bulging or tender veins
  • Discoloration of skin, especially when legs are elevated
  • Skin changes, such as becoming thin, brittle, shiny, and cool to touch


If your PVD is serious, you may experience severe pain or develop gangrene, an infection that causes tissues to die.

What Treatments are Available for PVD?

Initially, your Phoenix Heart provider performs a thorough physical assessment and takes a complete health history. They may also order diagnostic studies, including angiography, ultrasound, and vein mapping, or venography.

Depending on the severity of your vascular disease, they may prescribe:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Weight loss
  • Smoking cessation
  • Medications
  • Angioplasty and stenting, or clearing of blockage
  • Atherectomy, or surgical removal of blockage
  • Varicose vein repair or removal


Your provider at Phoenix Heart is committed to helping you prevent the progression of PVD and avoid the long-term complications of this potentially dangerous disease.

For a PVD screening and customized treatment plan, call today or book an appointment online with Phoenix Heart.