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Conditions We Treat: Peripheral Artery Disease (Peripheral Arterial Disease)

Peripheral artery, or arterial, disease (PAD) is a blockage or narrowing (stenosis) of arteries that supply blood to the legs, often due to a buildup of fatty plaque inside the arteries. PAD, once known as peripheral vascular disease (PVD), can make it painful to walk, which discourages exercise and creates a vicious circle of increased levels of arterial disease.

Peripheral Artery Disease: What You Need to Know

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  • Peripheral artery disease is usually caused by atherosclerosis — the buildup of fatty plaque, cholesterol and other deposits inside your artery walls.
  • Claudication, a pain or weakness in the legs that occurs while walking or exercising, is often a symptom of peripheral artery disease.
  • Your vascular surgeon's goals will be to reduce atherosclerosis through medication and lifestyle changes. Stenting — inserting an expanding tube that pushes open the artery — may become necessary.
  • The most consistently effective, noninvasive treatment for peripheral artery disease is exercise.

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Why choose Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute for treatment of peripheral artery disease?

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Our Physicians

Our experts in vascular medicine and vascular surgery offer expert interventions, including noninvasive and minimally invasive options, as well as traditional open surgery.

Learn more about vascular treatments at Johns Hopkins.

Meet our physicians:
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Our Treatments

Dr. Thomas Reifsnyder discusses limb-saving therapies for peripheral artery disease.

Watch the video.