Aortoiliac Disease Information

Aortoiliac disease results from atherosclerosis, but you may not feel symptoms at first. At the Wake Forest Heart and Vascular Center, our cardiovascular specialists provide expert care to manage and treat aortoiliac disease. 

New patients may request an appointment online to discuss aortoiliac disease treatment with our team

What is Aortoiliac Disease? 

Aortoiliac occlusive disease is narrowing or blockage of an iliac artery, which branches off your aorta. The iliac arteries go through your pelvis and supply blood to your legs. Aortoiliac disease is a type of peripheral artery disease, which is blockage in arteries that carry blood from the heart to the arms and legs. 

Aortoiliac disease can cause the following problems: 

Risk Factors and Symptoms of Aortoiliac Disease 

The main cause of most cases of aortoiliac disease is atherosclerosis, blockage of your arteries caused by cholesterol plaque buildup. 

The risk factors for atherosclerosis include: 

Early in aortoiliac disease, its main symptoms are pain, cramping and fatigue in your lower body when you walk or exercise. As the disease worsens, you may feel more severe symptoms in your legs and feet, including: 

  • Erectile dysfunction 
  • Severe pain, coldness or numbness 
  • Ulcers (sores) on your toes, heels or lower legs 
  • Weakened muscles 
  • Gangrene (tissue death) 

Diagnosing Aortoiliac Disease 

At Wake Forest Baptist, we use several tests to determine whether you have aortoiliac disease and, if so, how severe it is. First, your physician will perform a physical exam. If your physician suspects that you may have aortoiliac disease, he or she may recommend any of the following tests: 

  • Ankle-brachial index (ABI) to measure blood pressure in your ankle and wrist 
  • Diagnostic catheterization to perform angiograms for more detailed images of the location and pattern of blockages 
  • Vascular ultrasound to determine which arteries are blocked 

Learn more about heart and vascular diagnosis at Wake Forest. 

Aortoiliac Disease Treatment at Wake Forest Baptist

We believe it's just as important to manage your disease as it is to treat it. For some patients, medical management may even be an effective alternative to surgery. 

If you have mild or moderate case, or if you have already undergone surgery, we may prescribe one or more of the following:  

  • Hyperlipidemia management 
  • Medications 
  • Lifestyle change, such as quitting smoking or losing weight 
  • Exercise 

Regular follow-up care to monitor your condition 

In more severe cases, we may recommend surgery. Surgical options include: 

Only you and your doctor can decide which aortoiliac disease treatment is right for you. All of our patients receive pre-operative counseling to help them understand the risks and benefits of procedures. 

Contact Us 

New patients may request a heart disease evaluation or treatment appointment online. Or, for more information, please call: 

  • 336-716-WAKE or 
  • 888-716-WAKE (toll-free) 


Quick Reference

Heart & Vascular Center
New Patients

Local 336-716-WAKE
Toll-free 888-716-WAKE

Returning Patients

Vascular 336-716-4151
Heart 336-716-6674

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Last Updated: 05-08-2015
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.