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Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) and Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) – know their similarities and differences

Peripheral artery disease

PAD and CVI are two medical terms that quite often confuse our patients. Both are vascular diseases which share many common aspects and have similar symptoms. However, they are different in many ways. Both PAD and CVI affect blood vessels. What differentiates the two conditions is the blood vessel that gets affected. While PAD affects your arteries, CVI damages your veins. Once blood vessels are damaged the body becomes devoid of the much-needed oxygen rich blood. 

The conditions are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality and they are occasionally indicative of the presence of other serious vascular conditions. Pain and disability associated with both the conditions are known to decrease the quality of life of patients as it may cause inability to perform activities for daily living.

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Peripheral artery disease is a circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries cut the blood flow to your limbs. With PAD, your extremities – usually legs, fail to receive sufficient blood flow. Due to atherosclerosis, when plaque which is made up of excessive fat, cholesterol and other substances floating through the bloodstream, builds up in the arterial walls, the arteries get narrowed and blocked. This is the most common cause of PAD.

This can lead to conditions such as: 

1) arteries being constricted by more than 50% 

2) lower extremities experiencing shortage of oxygenated blood 

3) artery being completely blocked by plaque or a blood clot that lodges in a narrowed artery. If this occurs, the tissue below the blockage is permanently damaged and may perish.

Chronic Venous insufficiency (CVI)

Standing for long time, pregnancy, or age-related factors can cause stress on venous system. The veins become weakened, blood flow is restricted, and blood starts to pool in the legs. The reflux causes veins to expand, lose its form, and bulge from underneath the skin. 

CVI is a progressive medical condition in which the valves that carry blood from the legs towards the heart is damaged. This causes blood to pool in the legs and the veins begin to swell. Varicose veins, if left untreated, can progress to this serious condition. 

Who should get tested?

Are you over 70 years of age? Are you above 50 with a habit of smoking? Are you diabetic or having any cardiovascular disease?  Being considered for a lower extremity surgical procedure? You should then be screened to rule out any circulatory complications. 

Following are a few questions to ask yourself:

1) Do you have any discomfort – aches, cramping, pain, or fatigue while you walk which gets better with rest?

2) Do you suffer from diabetes or have a history of cardiovascular disease? 

3) Experience pain or swelling in your lower legs, feet, or toes? 

4) Worried about the skin discoloration in your legs?

5) Do you have a slow healing ulcer in you calf, foot, toe, or ankle?

6) Have you had a gangrenous (critically insufficient blood supply causing tissue death) infection of the legs or feet? 

Our expert doctors at Avis Vascular Centre can answer your queries and help you with the right treatment for your condition. Book your appointment today. 

Peripheral Artery Disease Treatment In Hyderabad

For Appointments Call: 9989527715