BSIP VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Peripheral vascular disease. Illustration of blood circulation through a human leg with bursts of colour symbolising the pain caused by peripheral vascular disease. This condition results from in- adequate blood flow through the leg. The under- lying cause is often narrowing of blood vessels due to fatty deposits (atherosclerosis), although other conditions can produce similar symptoms. Lack of blood produces pain or aching after walking, and encourages the development of leg ulcers. In severe cases gangrene can occur. Treatment includes stopping smoking, exercise, keeping the feet scrupulously clean (to prevent infection), and surgery to repair blood vessels.
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