Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is a blood vessel disease that impacts the blood flow outside of the brain or heart. PVD affects arterial circulation, which are the vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the tissues of the body. Certain venous diseases, like varicose veins, are considered a form of PVD, but, more commonly, peripheral vascular disease affects the arteries, and is called peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD involves the buildup of fatty plaques in the blood vessels in the legs and tends to have a direct correlation to cardiovascular disease. Heart attack and stroke are both more common in patients with PAD, so it is vital to diagnose and treat the disease right away.