Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD), also known as Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), occurs when a buildup of cholesterol and fat known as plaque slows or blocks the blood flow to one or both legs.

Early diagnosis is critical to determine the level of treatment. If left untreated, PVD can result in gangrene and even amputation of a limb.

Risk Factors

Those who smoke or have diabetes have the highest odds of getting PVD in their lifetime. Men are also more likely than women to have PVD.

Other factors include:

  • Advanced age
  • Extended inactivity
  • Family history of artery related disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity


PVD symptoms include:

  • Blue or black discoloration of the legs
  • Difficulty walking
  • Leg Pain/ Numbness when the affected is active, pain will stop when activity has stopped
  • Lower body hair loss
  • Numbness of the feet
  • Ulcers on the legs/feet that do not heal


For more information on treatment for PAD or to make an appointment with the Vascular Center at UM BWMC, call 410-553-8300.