Peripheral artery disease (PAD), sometimes called peripheral vascular disease (PVD) or peripheral arterial disease, is a common but serious circulatory condition. It develops when the peripheral arteries — those outside the heart — become clogged with fatty deposits (plaque), causing them to narrow and reducing the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the muscles.

Expert Care for PAD

Our experts often treat patients with complex vascular problems that other health care facilities are unable to treat. As part of an academic medical center, we offer best practice treatments based on research and clinical trials.

The Peripheral Artery Disease Program offers specialized care to meet the individual needs of our patients. And, we use electronic medical records to keep all information about a patient in one place and convenient to access. This makes it easier for the physician care team to communicate and collaborate about how best to care for the patient. Our specialists also work closely with referring physicians to deliver the best possible treatment.

A Common but Serious Condition

PAD is a serious but treatable condition. It can cause leg pain and numbness and increase the risk of infection, but some people may have no symptoms until the disease has progressed. Because PAD can be caused by underlying atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), even mild cases without symptoms, can increase a person’s risk for heart attack, stroke and renal artery disease. Read more about PAD signs and symptoms.

Latest Approaches to Diagnosing PAD

As part of an academic medical center, we are at the forefront of new ways to diagnose PAD and other vascular diseases. This includes diagnostic CT angiography and a non-invasive vascular ultrasound lab where certified technologists conduct tests to assess blood flow and locate blockage in blood vessels. Learn more about diagnosing PAD.

Advanced Treatments

Our team of nationally recognized physician experts in vascular surgery, vascular medicine, cardiology and interventional radiology works together to provide a full range of treatment choices for PAD. Medical College of Wisconsin physicians offer many more specialized treatment options that are not readily available elsewhere. Our treatments are based on the latest research, including minimally invasive endovascular and surgical options, for the best possible outcomes.

Dedicated, Full-Time Vascular Surgery Experts

Our program is strengthened by the full-time focus on the care of patients by our physicians. The vascular team is truly collaborative and offers a comprehensive  multidisciplinary approach. Meet our highly skilled vascular disease team.


Conducting research to better understand vascular diseases such as PAD is an important part of our mission as an academic medical center. Our patients may participate in clinical trials of new treatment techniques, medications and devices. One such trial focuses on groundbreaking, innovative treatments for saving the limbs of patients who haven’t found success with traditional PAD treatments. We are committed to bringing the latest treatments and technology to our patients through research and clinical trials.

Virtual Visits Are Available

Safe and convenient virtual visits by video let you get the care you need via a mobile device, tablet or computer wherever you are. We'll assess your condition and develop a treatment plan right away. To schedule a virtual visit, call 414-777-7700.

Learn More