Interview: Danger to life from vascular occlusion – gentle procedure stimulates growth of endogenous bypasses
Every 2 minutes a heart attack occurs in Germany, every 3 minutes a stroke. Every year, around 4.5 million Germans suffer from peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAVD), vascular occlusions in the legs. Every year, more than 30,000 legs have to be amputated in Germany due to pronounced PAVK.
All these complaints – and there are many more – are due to disturbed blood circulation. Blood vessels are calcified or blocked, blood can no longer flow freely and tissue is cut off from the vital oxygen supply. If a clot occludes the coronary arteries, in many cases this results in a heart attack. If the blood supply to the brain is inhibited, the result is often a stroke.
And the pain in the legs that PAVD sufferers experience when walking occurs when the oxygen needed for movement by the leg muscles fails to arrive because of reduced blood flow. If the affected person remains standing and the muscles are no longer strained, both the oxygen demand and the pain decrease abruptly. Because sufferers therefore frequently stop, it looks as if they are strolling from shop window to shop window – which is why the condition has also been given the trivializing name “shop window disease”.