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Peripheral Vascular Disease

Peripheral vascular disease, also called peripheral arterial disease, occurs when the arteries that supply blood to your limbs are narrowed by plaque, a fatty substance that collects on artery walls. This process is called atherosclerosis, and it is one of the most common causes of heart disease.

Peripheral vascular disease affects the legs most commonly, making it painful for you to walk. Unfortunately, many people believe the pain is just a sign of aging and do not seek medical attention. Left untreated, peripheral vascular disease can lead to gangrene, inability to heal or a heart attack.

If you experience pain while you walk, speak to your Indiana University Health Heart & Vascular physician about changes you can make to get you back to a healthy, active lifestyle. We provide advanced, minimally invasive treatments to correct peripheral vascular disease and help you get back to an active lifestyle. Our physicians will develop a comprehensive treatment plan based on your diagnosis and lifestyle.

IU Health Heart & Vascular Care physicians have years of experience treating the most complex heart and vascular conditions. Our physicians are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of peripheral vascular disease, using minimally invasive methods to get you back on your feet quickly. As partners with the Indiana University School of Medicine, we are at the forefront of research, giving you access to the latest treatment options. We focus on providing high quality, personalized care so you can live a heart healthy lifestyle. 

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Peripheral Vascular Disease Treatment Information

For patients with moderate peripheral vascular disease, also called peripheral arterial disease, treatment may include lifestyle changes. Many lifestyle choices that prevent peripheral vascular disease also reduce the severity of the condition. Eat healthy, exercise, lose weight, quit smoking and manage conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure to lower your risk for peripheral vascular disease.

If plaque build-up is too great, you may need a cardiac catheterization, a minimally invasive procedure. During catheterization, the artery may be widened, the blockage may be removed or a stent, a mesh wire tube, may be placed to keep the artery open. These procedures pose few risks and have a quick recovery time.

In more severe cases, you undergo surgery to allow the blood to bypass the affected area. These surgeries have longer recovery times and more risks, but still offer relief from the complications of peripheral vascular disease.

IU Health Heart & Vascular Care physicians provide the following services to diagnose and treat peripheral vascular disease:


Peripheral Vascular Disease Locations & Physicians

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Peripheral Vascular Disease Support Services

Learn more about managing your heart health and peripheral vascular disease at the following websites.