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PVD is often characterized by a narrowing of the vessels that carry blood to the leg and arm muscles. The most common causes is atherosclerosis, injury or infection. PVD reduces the amount of blood flow to the limbs and decreases the oxygen and nutrients available to the tissue. Clots may form on the artery walls, further decreasing the inner size of the vessel and potentially blocking off major arteries. 

Treatment may include:

  •  Vascular surgery
  • Angioplasty 

 There are several types of angioplasty procedures, including: 

  • Balloon angioplasty (a small balloon is inflated inside the blocked artery to open the blocked area) 
  • Atherectomy (the blocked area inside the artery is “shaved” away by a tiny device on the end of a catheter) 
  • Laser angioplasty (a laser is used to “vaporize” the blockage in the artery) 

Stent (a tiny coil is expanded inside the blocked artery to open the blocked area and is left in place to keep the artery open) 

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