Circulatory disorders of the vessels supplying the legs
Circulatory disorders in the legs are often caused by vessel calcification, the so-called arteriosclerosis. It can also affect the abdomen and pelvic arteries, and then affect both legs. At first, pain occurs under stress (the so-called intermittent claudication); when the disease progresses, patients also complain of pain under resting conditions, e.g. at night. In this case, one speaks of a critical insufficient blood supply (ischemia). In an advanced stage the tissue begins to die, the skin becomes black.
Particularly when the pelvic vessels are affected, untypical symptoms such as leg weakness, pain in the buttocks or impotence in men can occur.
As soon as first pain occurs, urgent action should be taken. We can diagnose circulatory problems with simple ultrasound examinations. In order to determine the individually appropriate blood flow restoration method (revascularisation), color coded duplex sonography (TCCS), magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and digital subtraction agniography (DSA) are available. These are imaging procedures which depict blood flows and narrowings in the arteries.
For the treatment of circulatory disorders, we use different methods of revascularization, starting with an individual analysis of risks and benefits:
- Catheter procedures with vascular puncture, e.g. balloon dilation (percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, PTA) or introduction of vascular supports (stents)
- Removal of vascular lime (atherectomy)
- Open cut operations such as the removal of the vessel lime or bypass operations
- Any combination of the these procedures