Arterial Insufficiency Specialist

Vascular Surgery Specialists

Board Certified Vascular and Endovascular Surgeons located in Downtown Phoenix & East Valley, Phoenix, AZ

Blockages in arteries, often from atherosclerosis, can inhibit blood flow to certain areas of your body by causing a condition called arterial insufficiency. The skilled board-certified vascular specialists and surgeons at Vascular Surgery Specialists in Phoenix, Arizona, specialize in treating upper and lower extremity arterial insufficiency, which affects your arms and legs, respectively. To schedule an evaluation, call the office or book online today.

Arterial Insufficiency Q & A

What is upper extremity arterial insufficiency?

Between upper and lower extremity arterial insufficiency, upper extremity arterial insufficiency is the less common of the two forms of the disease. It occurs when blood flow either stops or slows down within your arms significantly because of atherosclerosis, blood clots, or other conditions. 

Upper extremity arterial insufficiency can affect one or both of your arms at a time. If you have it, you might experience some or all of these symptoms:

  • Arm pain or discomfort
  • Cramping in your arms
  • Arm weakness
  • Arm heaviness

When the muscles in your arms are unable to get enough oxygenated blood because of upper extremity arterial insufficiency, the muscles tend to cramp or otherwise malfunction. 

What is lower extremity arterial insufficiency?

Lower extremity arterial insufficiency is much more common than upper extremity arterial insufficiency. It begins when the arteries within your legs become blocked or constricted by plaque build-up, blood clots, or other blockages. 

Lower extremity arterial insufficiency can affect you in a number of ways, causing various symptoms and potential complications. Because of the disease, you might experience:

  • Leg ulcers
  • Resting leg pain
  • Pain or cramping during exercise
  • Gangrene
  • Skin that is cold to the touch
  • Aneurysm

Symptoms affecting your legs from lower extremity arterial insufficiency usually only affect one leg. The condition inhibits healing, so even a small cut or scratch can soon develop into an ulcer with tissue death (gangrene). Therefore, it’s important that you get an early diagnosis of your condition and begin treatment promptly. 

What are my treatment options for arterial insufficiency?

Vascular Surgery Specialists offers advanced testing and treatment for both upper and lower extremity arterial insufficiency. To diagnose your condition, your provider uses angiography (for legs), duplex ultrasonography, or a Doppler ultrasound to evaluate blood movement through the affected arteries. 

When it comes to treatment, the vascular surgeons at Vascular Surgery Specialists tend to use multiple approaches. Your coordinated treatment plan might involve:


Blood pressure medication may be necessary to lower your blood pressure. In turn, this relieves pressure from aneurysms and weak spots in blood vessel walls. Your provider might also prescribe cholesterol-lowering medications. 

Lifestyle changes

Making changes to your lifestyle, like stopping smoking, losing weight, or eating healthier foods, can make a significant difference for your well-being with upper or lower extremity arterial insufficiency. 

Minimally invasive procedures

A couple of types of minimally invasive procedures can treat upper and lower arterial insufficiency. During an angioplasty with stent placement, your provider widens the constricted artery and places a stent to hold it open. They may also use a minimally invasive atherectomy to remove the blockage. 

Vascular surgery

During a vascular surgery called peripheral artery bypass surgery, your surgeon manipulates your blood vessels to reroute blood flow past the area of blockage. 

If you experience upper and lower arterial insufficiency symptoms, contact Vascular Surgery Specialists by phone or book online for a diagnostic evaluation today.