Peripheral Arterial Disease
It is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce the blood flow to your arms and legs.
What are Peripheral Arteries ?
Arteries carry oxygen rich blood and nutrients away from your heart, to your body’s tissues. The main artery arising from the heart is called the Aorta. It branches and comes to the limbs – upper or lower limbs, these are called Peripheral arteries. Plastic surgeons and vascular surgeons deal with any abnormality arising out of arteries of the upper or lower limb. The ones above that concerning the heart and aorta go into the realm of cardiac or cardiovascular surgeons.
Acute problems can be because of a clot forming or a clot getting transferred from somewhere else. A clot in the heart can travel and go anywhere to the brain, arteries, hand or feet and that area can become blocked and ischemic. This calls for an acute emergency. Acute obstruction because of clot and obstruction of a major artery of a limb can cause complete de-vascularization of the limb.
It presents as absolute, severe pain and pale limbs as the blood stops to flow. In contrast with venous obstruction, the artery keeps on pumping the blood but the blood is unable to flow up, so the limb becomes congested and painful which means a high index of suspicion must be raised for an acute arterial obstruction first by confirming the diagnosis and then whether it is an acute thrombus is forming or it is a clot thrown from somewhere else.