Advocate Christ Medical Center
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What is PVD?Diagnosis and TreatmentsFAQs

What causes peripheral vascular disease (PVD)?
What are the risk factors?
What are the symptoms?
If any medical treatments are ordered by my doctor, will my insurance cover them?
Who provides the medical care?

1.  What causes peripheral vascular disease (PVD)?

PVD is typically caused by plaque buildup on the inside of the arteries that supply blood to the extremeties.

2.  What are the risk factors?

The major risk factors for peripheral vascular disease are:

  • Diabetes
  • Cigarette smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High LDL cholesterol
  • Previous stroke or heart attack
  • Obesity
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Age
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Cardiovascular disease

3.  What are the symptoms?

The most common symptom is aching pain in the calf, thigh, or buttock, usually happening after you have walked for a certain distance. This is called intermittent claudication. Over time, symptoms can progress to include:

  • Limping or abnormal gait while walking
  • Aching pain in the feet or toes when resting
  • A sore on the leg, foot or arm that won't heal or becomes infected
  • Loss of hair on the legs or arms
  • Change of color, paleness or blueness of the skin on the legs or arms
  • In severe cases, gangrene, which may require amputation

4.  If any medical treatments are ordered by my doctor, will my insurance cover them?

Depending on the type of coverage, most commercial insurance carriers will pay the major share of the cost. You should always consult your insurance company to determine proper coverage.

5. Who provides the medical care?

The team at Advocate Christ Medical Center is staffed by specialized cardiologists, nurses, rehabilitation specialists, psychologists, and nutritionists who are dedicated to caring for patients with peripheral vascular disease. You will remain under the care of your primary care physician and cardiologist while you are treated by the specialists at Christ Medical Center. To ensure that your physician is kept up-to-date, our team will provide ongoing reports on the progress you have made.

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