, also called thromboangiitis obliterans
, is a rare disease of the arteries and veins in the arms and legs. Buerger's disease is characterized by a combination of inflammation and clots in the blood vessels, which impairs blood flow. This eventually damages or destroys tissues and may lead to infection and gangrene
. Buerger's disease usually begins in the hands and feet and may progress to affect larger areas of the limbs.
No treatments can cure Buerger's disease. Instead various treatment approaches to reduce any signs and symptoms are medications to improve blood flow or to dissolve blood clots
, surgery to cut the nerves in the affected area to control pain and amputation
if infection or gangrene occurs.
Patients with Buerger's disease must stop smoking immediately and completely. This is the only treatment known to be effective. Supportive measures include gentle massage and warmth to increase circulation, avoid conditions that reduce peripheral circulation, like cold temperatures and sitting or standing in one position for long periods, not to walk barefoot to avoid injury and avoid wearing tight and restrictive clothing.
The disease is progressive in patients who do not stop smoking.