Peripheral Vascular Disease
Peripheral vascular disease is a broad term for narrowing and hardening of the arteries. This commonly affects the main arteries to the brain (see ‘carotid arteries’ above) and to the legs. Disease of the arteries to the legs can cause pain on walking, and as it progresses pain at rest and eventually gangrene in the worst cases. It is important to recognise the condition early and address possible risk factors appropriately. This may be enough to prevent worsening of the condition but occasionally intervention is required. This may be using radiological techniques (termed ‘angioplasty’) or rarely bypass surgery.