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Vascular Program

Leading Heart & Vascular Experts in Bakersfield

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, in Kern County 1 in 4 people die from this disease. Blocked arteries (atherosclerosis) are the main culprit, which can result in a condition called peripheral vascular disease (PVD). PVD is a progressive circulation disorder that can affect any blood vessel outside of the heart and reduces blood flow to the limbs. At CCMC, we have made it our mission to raise patient awareness of heart disease and PVD by providing a road map for diagnosis and treatment, ultimately saving lives and improving quality of life.

CCMC’s Vascular Program applies a multidisciplinary approach to manage many arterial and vascular issues. We provide advanced interventions and options to ensure effective long-term care. Our experienced, board certified interventional cardiologists are highly trained to take on the most complex of cases. CCMC has an on-site state-of-the-art vascular lab equipped with the latest technology to offer a comprehensive treatments for the full spectrum of venous system diseases, including inflammation of veins, varicose veins, arteriovenous malformations and chronic venous insufficiency.

Risk Factors

The first step to prevention and detection is learning your risk. The following is a list of risk factors for PVD:

  • Age (especially older than age 50)
  • History of heart disease
  • Men
  • Postmenopausal women
  • Family history of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or peripheral vascular disease
  • Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking or use of tobacco products


Many people diagnosed with PVD show no symptoms. Most common symptoms are:

  • Painful leg cramping that occurs with exercise
  • Changes in the skin of the legs and feet (decreased skin temperature, thin, brittle, shiny)
  • Weak pulse
  • Gangrene
  • Hair loss on the legs
  • Wounds that won't heal on the heels or ankles
  • Numbness, weakness, or heaviness in muscles
  • Discoloration of the extremities


Our cardiologists will perform an exam with a complete medical history. Additionally, the following tests may be used to diagnose PVD and help your physician develop the treatment plan tailored to your needs:

Ankle-brachial index (ABI)

An ABI is a comparison of the blood pressure in the ankle with the blood pressure in the arm using a regular blood pressure cuff and a Doppler ultrasound device.

Doppler ultrasound (Arterial/Venous)

This test uses high-frequency sound waves and a computer to create images of blood vessels, tissues, and organs. This test is performed on the lower extremities.

Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)

This noninvasive test uses a combination of a large magnet, radio frequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures in the body. A special dye is injected during the procedure so that blood vessels are more visible.


This is an X-ray of the arteries and veins to detect blockage or narrowing. This procedure involves inserting a thin, flexible tube into an artery in the leg and injecting a contrast dye. The contrast dye makes the arteries and veins visible on the X-ray.


At CCMC, our main goal for the treatment of PVD is to stop the progression of the disease, thus lowering the risk for heart attack, stroke, and other complications. The following treatment measures are prescribed based on each patient’s individual work-up:

  • Lifestyle changes such as exercise, healthy eating, and stopping tobacco use
  • Medications that improve blood flow (e.g. blood thinners)
  • Angioplasty
    • Balloon angioplasty
    • Atherectomy
    • Stent


Our cardiologists established the Vascular Program at CCMC to increase the likelihood of better outcomes for PVD patients. Complications of PVD can include amputation, poor wound healing, restricted mobility, severe pain and in some cases stroke. Early detection and treatment can make a world of difference in your outcomes and ultimately save a limb or your life.

Click here to take our questionnaire to see if you are at risk of PVD and let our expert cardiologists start you on a comprehensive treatment plan today.