What is Aortoiliac Disease?

Aortoiliac disease occurs when there is a narrowing or blockage in the aorta or the iliac arteries from a buildup of plaque. These important arteries are responsible for transporting blood through your pelvis and legs. Plaque can cause arteries to become narrow and harden, a process called atherosclerosis.

Like most peripheral artery diseases, risk factors for aortoiliac disease include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Family history of cardiovascular diseases
  • Smoking

Symptoms of aortoiliac disease vary depending on which artery is being blocked or if it is the abdominal aorta. All cases of aortoiliac disease are characterized by:

  • Pain or cramping in the legs while walking
  • Deep pain in the abdomen or lower back
  • Erectile dysfunction

If your physician thinks you have aortoiliac disease, they may give you a variety of pulse and blood pressure tests to see if there is a problem with blood flow to your legs. If the blood pressure in your ankle is significantly low, it could be a sign of narrowing leg arteries.

An ultrasound may also be performed to determine which of your arteries is blocked. In more serious cases, an angioplasty may be administered to determine the best way to correct the condition.

Typically, symptoms of aortoiliac disease can be treated by lifestyle changes and medication. Surgery may be necessary for more advanced cases.

Lifestyle changes include:

  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise
  • Dietary changes

Surgical options include:

  • Angioplasty and stenting
  • Surgical bypass
  • Endarterectomy

Why Choose Methodist Healthcare?

Our vascular surgeons and specialists have the training to treat complicated vascular conditions like aortoiliac disease. With convenient locations in San Antonio and the surrounding area, you can trust Methodist Healthcare to deliver outstanding vascular care.