Atherosclerosis, that is, Peripheral Artery Disease, refers to all arterial diseases except the heart and brain. In short, it is a disease that occurs when the arteries that supply blood flow to the arms, legs and internal organs are completely or partially blocked due to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Atherosclerosis causes peripheral vascular disease in two ways:
While there should be a rapid increase in the amount of blood and oxygen sent to the tissues when the need for oxygen increases, such as during exercise, atherosclerosis does not allow this increase due to the narrowing of the vessels, and disease symptoms occur.
Occlusion of an artery (artery) due to thrombus or embolism (blood clots) causes sudden oxygen deficiency and malnutrition in the tissue.
Chest pain with exercise or intermittent leg pain with walking (intermittent claudication) are examples of situations where the tissue’s increased demand for oxygen and blood cannot be met. In addition, stroke and heart attack are examples of sudden oxygen deficiency and malnutrition that occur in the tissues as a result of complete occlusion of the arteries by blood clots.
In rare cases, open sores, ulcers, gangrene, or some other damage that is very difficult to heal can occur as a result of reduced blood flow to the arms or particularly the legs as a result of peripheral vascular disease. These areas do not receive enough blood and are very prone to infection. In advanced cases, amputation (removal of gangrenous tissue by cutting) may be necessary.